Love & Bubbly, at Any Cost

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You don't have to spend a fortune...yadda yadda yadda... Maybe you had a good year, and maybe things are tight right now. That doesn't mean

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Love & Bubbly, at Any Cost

  • Love & Bubbly, at Any Cost

  • ">

    You don't have to spend a fortune...yadda yadda yadda... Maybe you had a good year, and maybe things are tight right now. That doesn't mean you have to skimp. Here are some of the best values in bubbly I've had all year:

    $10 - Segura Viudas "Aria" Brut Rose - This is not only one of the tastiest $10 bottles of bubbly, but also the hottest--a dark black bottle with metallic magenta edging. There's more fruit than your average glass of sparkling wine, and it tastes like unripe strawberries. I buy it by the case for an extra discount, and it's very easy to find around town. The dark side of cheap bubbles is that metallic or tin can flavor that the mass produced stuff gives off. Not this little magenta beauty, no sir.

    $20 - Scharffenberger Brut - Mendocino's finest is the liquid expression of one of my favorite tea time snacks: biscuits with cream and lemon curd. It's a fresh style of bubbly, with a creamy, not so aggressive finish. This bottle tastes a bit finer than your average Prosecco and can be found around town in restaurants like Eva as a glass pour.

    $30 - Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs 2004 - This example of white on white bubbles (all Chardonnay) makes an extra racy, super zippy treat and it's vintage dated no less. Schramsberg is America's bubbly ambassador, and makes the case for serious non-Champagne sparklers. The aroma and flavor of citrus zest in this wine, along with hints of Granny Smith apples and a little honey, make it a great way to start out the night, invigorating and frisky.

    $40 - Argyle Extended Tirage Brut 1997 - $40 won't even get you in the ground floor for most Champagnes, but don't sweat it. Oregon's Argyle Winery makes sparkling wines that achieve fantastic depth for their respective categories, especially this extra special bottle. "Extended Tirage" means that this sparkler sat with the dead yeast cells and funk from its first fermentation in the bottle for almost ten years. While this would be gross for anything in your fridge, it's awesome for a sparkling wine and is the reason for this bubbly's amazing character. Butter cookies, tangy dried fig and apricot fruit, maybe a little plum, this wine is exotic and has flavor and character to spare. You'll have to spend almost twice as much for a Champagne that can rival the aromas and flavors of this bottle, and that's what makes it a steal.

     
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