tasty tiny bubbles for less

In this new year of living well and spending less, we want to give you tons of specific tips, tools and strategies on how to live a posh life, no matter what's in your wallet. That means helping you adopt our attitude that a little luxury belongs in everyday living. And one of our favorite little luxuries comes in a bottle of sparkling wine. We're going to show you how to get more of that sparkle into your life at a very reasonable price - even free!

As you probably know, the appellation "Champagne" is only for sparkling wines made in the Champagne region of France. But there are many bubbly options that will delight your senses just as well. Prosecco comes from Italy. Cava is made in Spain. Cremant can come from various regions in France - other than Champagne. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa Argentina, Chile and, of course California in the U.S.A., all have some wonderful choices for exploring bubbles and expanding your tastes.

Here are a few for you to consider from our personal favorites...for under $15 per bottle.

De Chanceny Cremant de Loire. Good sparkling wine has tiny bubbles (not to quote Don Ho, but, well...) and this delicate bubbly has just that. We saw first hand the care taken in making this wine when we were in Vouvray. There are Brut, Demi Sec, Rose and even Vintage options. The popular Brut is about $12 and can found online and even at some Whole Foods Markets for $10 or less on sale.

Blason de Bourgogne Cremant is a surprisingly affordable French sparkling from the Burgundy region and is made by the traditional method. Pear, apple and vanilla essence with more of those delicious tiny bubbles put this one high on our list. The fact that you can get it at Trader Joe's for about $10 keeps it there.

To round out our view of non Champagne region French sparklers, we love this Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose for something a little different. We enjoyed the many pleasures of driving the Alsatian Wine Route and this bubbly tickled our fancy and our nose. You can find it online and at the larger wine warehouse stores such as Binny's for $14.95.

Mionetto is a very well-known Prosecco, called "Best of Tasting" by the Wall Street Journal and "Best Buy" by Wine Enthusiast, among other raves. It's readily available and there are a variety of lines and options. We like many of them, including the Sergio from the MO line, which you can get for about $14.

Of course, California has some wonderful sparklings as well. You can look to names like Roederer Estate, Mumm Napa, Schramsberg, Scharffenberger, Laetitia, J Wine Company, Domaine Chandon and more for great values on tasty sparkling.


If you want to read more about the little bubbles check out the latest digital edition of Fine Champagne Magazine they take a look at the best rose champagne for 2012.