A flavorful sparkling wine isn't only for weddings and ringing in the new year. It's the perfect choice for many occasions, such as brunches, parties, and quiet evenings at home watching a sommelier documentary.
The best affordable sparkling wine is also less expensive than you might realize. The key to purchasing budget-friendly sparkling wine is having a good list. That's why we've come up with our list of the best affordable sparkling wine.
What Is Sparkling Wine?
Sparkling wine contains carbon dioxide gas molecules that produce its trademark bubbly or fizzy quality. Many countries around the world manufacture it using numerous production methods.
Types of Sparkling Wine
White and rosé are the most common types of sparkling wines, but there are many well-known examples of red varieties. The types of sparkling wine differ in name and qualities in regions worldwide. There's Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, California sparkling wines, and Sekt from Germany and Austria.
And lastly, there are sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France. Crémant is a style of sparkling wine produced there using the second round of fermentation. This wine's bubbles are creamier and softer than other wines from the area.
Sparkling Wine and Champagne Difference
All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne. Historically, champagne is such a renowned type of sparkling wine that many people call any wine with bubbles "champagne."
Sparkling wine is only named "champagne" if it originates in the Champagne region in France. All sparkling wines made in this area face strict regulations. Champagne can only use chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes.
This confusion was common in the United States over many decades. Some domestic producers of sparkling wine advertised using the term "champagne" or even "American champagne." Protests from French trade authorities and other factors eventually influenced many winemakers' decision to stop using this term.
Sparkling Wine Traditional Method
The traditional method, or "méthode tradionnelle" in French, describes the labor-intensive process that produces the fine bubbles in sparkling wine. Many of the best affordable sparkling wine uses this production method.
It includes two rounds of fermentation- one in a barrel or tank and one in a bottle. The second fermentation in the bottle gives the wine its characteristic bubbles.
Worldwide producers use this traditional method to make sparkling wine, but different varieties have distinct characteristics--which a sommelier is able to detect. Flavor, richness, and texture are qualities that help a sparkling wine rise above its competition. Climate, soil, and other elements contribute to each location's variety of sparkling wine.
Best Affordable Sparkling Wine
1- La Marca Prosecco
La Marca's prosecco from the Veneto region in Italy provides a refreshing and fruity taste. They are the only prosecco producer from this region to make Wine Spectator's list of "Top 100 Wines of the Year." It's delicious on its own or if you're thinking about a mimosa with brunch.
2- Roederer Estate L'Ermitage Brut
Made from 50% pinot noir and 50% chardonnay, this sparkling wine from California's Mendocino County offers a rich apple flavor. The Roederer Estate produces many excellent varieties of sparkling wine, but this is our favorite.
3- Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso
Lini 910 Labrusca Lambrusco Rosso is a fruity sparkling red wine with low alcohol content. It uses the Martinotti (Charmat) method to produce the flavor of red fruit and forest berries. It's the top-rated red wine on our list of best affordable sparkling wine for good reasons.
4- Jansz Tasmania Brut Rosé
Jansz Tasmania Brut Rosé from Australia's island of Tasmania has the taste of candied fruit, rose petals rhubarb, and cream. It undergoes secondary fermentation in the bottle and ages three years before it's released. This brand is definitely worth a try
5- Santa Margherita Prosecco Superior
This brand is also from Italy's Veneto region and is an outstanding value in the world of sparkling wines. Santa Margherita Prosecco Superior offers light apple and pear aromas and a crisp, bubbly finish. The Santa Margherita brand produces some of the best sparkling wines in Italy.
6- Gustave Lorentz Crémant d'Alsace
This is a fine example of sparkling French wine outside the Champagne region of France. The Lorentz family has been making wine in Alsace since the 1800s.
They source pinot noir, pinot blanc, and chardonnay from the family vineyards. Gustave Lorentz Crémant d'Alsace offers a berry taste with a burst of lemon, making it perfect for a toast.
7- Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad
This sparkling wine is a good example of cava- the méthode traditionnelle Spanish sparkling wine category. Segura Viudas, an 800-year-old estate in the Penedés region outside of Barcelona, produces it.
The bottles of Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad are eye-catching and inspired by the Gothic arches of the family's farmhouse. They also come in one of the most common wine bottle sizes. You'll enjoy an aroma of apple, citrus, and tropical fruit that gives a sweet burst of apple and bread.
8- Graham Beck Brut Methode Cap Classic
Served at Nelson Mandela's presidential inauguration, this South African brand is a national icon. Graham Beck Methode Cap Classic uses a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, fermented separately then blended and aged for 15-18 months. A pleasant scent of green apple, lemon, and lime draws you into a medium body with bread and nut flavoring.
9- Hild Elbling Sekt Brut
One of Europe's oldest grapes, Elbling, is a cousin of the Riesling variety. These grapes are common in the Upper Mosel region of Germany.
Hild Elbling Sekt Brut is more mineral and less aromatic than Riesling. It's produced using the traditional method and aged on its less for nine months. The result is a sparkling wine from Germany with the flavor of tropical fruit, white flowers, and chalk.
10- Gruet Brut
Surprisingly, this sparkling wine is from New Mexico but offers good quality for an affordable price. Gruet Brut gives you good value for your money.
The Gruet family is from the Champagne region and uses classic varieties from their Champenoise origins to produce their wine. You experience the flavors of green apple, orange rind, and toast from a glass of this sparkling wine.
Affordable and Flavorful Sparkling Wine
You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy flavorful sparkling wine. Keep our list of the best affordable sparkling wine in mind the next time you're looking to celebrate a special occasion. Use our list as a guide for finding a good quality sparkling wine at prices that won't break your budget.
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