Tis the season to toast, and get a little toasted. The holiday season is here, a new year is upon us and there is no better way to celebrate than to pop open a bottle of bubbles.
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To me, sparkling wines are the perfect drink to celebrate the season: they are dry, crisp, and bubbly! I love all things sparkling wines: champagne, cava, prosecco, you name it. They are all delicious. And the best part? There are some amazing wine producers who are serving great glasses of sparkling for less. Champagne and other sparkling wines may look and taste expensive, but it doesn’t have to actually be expensive.
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Here, I count down my favorite sparklings under $25 -- just in time for you to count down to the new year.
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🍾Haute Couture Rose
This is a great wine from France, but isn't technically a champagne, because it's not from the Champagne region. But we don't have to get into all of that technical mumbo jumbo, not when you've got an elegant pink glass of sparkling in front of you. This wine has a hint of lingering sweetness on the palate, it's creamy and rich, with flavors of tart cherry and raspberry. You can pick it up at local wine stores for $24.99. Gift it to a friend, or keep it for yourself -- whatever you do, just enjoy!
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🍾JCB #21 Brut
I've talked about JCB wines before, as they are some of my favorite sparkling wines out there. They are rich and complex, extremely well-produced, and the price is always reasonable for the product. This is a brut, which means it's dry. I love dry glasses of sparkling because they can be sipped all night long without the terrible sugar hangover the next day. This sleek bottle is filled to the brim with flavors of almond and fresh flowers. It's crisp, sophisticated and only $19.99.
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🍾Jam Cellars Toast
This California wine is fun and bubbly, with loads of fruit flavors. You'll notice notes of pineapple, orange blossom and honeydew. But the real complexity comes from the brioche-like toasty quality of the finish. I know you're thinking: I don't want toast-flavored wine. But in champagne or other sparkling wines, it is the sign of a really great bottle. This bottle has a rich and creamy mouthfeel, keeping you coming back for another sip. This toasty glass can really be your jam for only $17.99.
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This is a favorite bargain bottle of mine. Toso Brut is from Argentina and it's super crisp, with hints of green apple and lemon. It's bright, citrusy, acidic and completely delicious. For such an inexpensive wine, this bottle has tiny bubbles, another sign of a great product. It's definitely one of the most refreshing sparkling wines on the market, and would be a fan favorite at your holiday or New Years Eve soirees. You can get the bottle for only $9.99, but at that price, you might want to spring for the whole case. After all, sparkling wines should be enjoyed year-round.
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Make your holiday season even brighter with a lively bottle of bubbles. Burst into the New Year drinking something fabulous and festive, and still have some extra dough in 2018.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tess is a restaurant professional, home-baker and downtown Dayton dweller. When she's not mixing drinks for restaurant patrons, she's drinking champagne, buying shoes, or writing her blog, Ciao Vella. You can read about her home recipes, party planning tips, and more at www.CiaoVellaBlog.com.