There’s not much to celebrate about 2020, except for its eventual end. And surely that calls for some bubbles. Okay, lots of bubbles. To keep your fridge well stocked over the holidays without breaking the bank, here are some of the top value picks that we’ve tasted over the last year.
Freixenet Cordon Negro Gran Selección Cava Brut
This is a classic for a reason. It’s made in the same method as Champagne, but doesn’t try to emulate it. So, don’t buy this because you’re looking for a cheap alternative. No, buy this because it’s quintessential Cava at a ridiculously affordable price. It’s crisp and dryish, with a savouriness from Penedès’ indigenous grape varieties. Perfect for hors d’oeuvres. Oysters anyone?
The Reserva Brut is fruitier in style than the Freixenet with crisp, honeyed orchard fruit and a hint of brioche. The mousse is delicate, showing surprising poise for this price point, and fairly dry, which will make this versatile at the dinner table.
Cono Sur Rosé Sparkling Wine
This is an approachable, fruity rosé sparkling wine that’s all about red fruits. A hint of sweetness makes this easy drinking. Really easy drinking. Forget the food pairings. This is for when you’re watching Netflix on the couch and just want something delicious in your glass.
I Can’t Believe It’s Not Champagne
Blue Mountain Gold Label Brut
Blue Mountain is one of Canada’s top sparkling wine producers. But that could be underselling it. It’s easy to think their bubbles are from Champagne when you taste them blind. I should know – I’ve done it. And their Gold Label Brut is a great introduction to what they do. The pinot noir is quite forward in the current release, bringing red apple and crunchy raspberry that sits alongside golden-hued fruit and a good amount of toast. You have to look twice at the price, because it’s hard to believe this is only $28.
Roederer Estate Brut
A Champagne house making sparkling wine in the New World isn’t novel. But this isn’t just any Champagne house. It’s Louis Roederer. While others situated themselves on popular tourist routes, Roederer went to California’s Anderson Valley. It’s well off the beaten path, but cool enough to make great sparkling wine. The results speak for themselves; just taste this Estate Brut.