Cheap Bubbles of the Moment

It's far too late to hand out specific recommendations for New Year's Eve bubbly. At this point, most people have one or two pit stops to the store scheduled and no time to special order a specific bottle or six.

So study the labels above. They are four of the best and cheapest buys floating around area stores right now, and by "best" I mean that they taste like wine and not like the leavings of a chemical accident. If you purchase them by the case, they should be 10% cheaper, a deal that should be offered at any decent retailer in town.

Presto Prosecco ($9) - I drank this all summer. I'm still indignant that the majority of Prosecco bottles now hover around $16 more than they do $10. Presto has the slight creaminess and light, fruity quality associated with Prosecco, which should always be kinder and gentler than it's Spanish counterpart, cava. (spotted it at Whole Foods, Pete's)

Zonin Prosecco ($7) - This brand used to be widely available, and the label is different than I remember, so maybe it's from an Uncle Zonin of the Zonin family. Who cares, it'll tickle your nose, make a nice cocktail; and, though it's a little less outstanding than the Presto, has that same Sunday morning drinkability. (Trader Joe's exclusive)

Louis Perdrier Rose ($8) - Get the pink version if you see it, but the regular brut is perfectly lovely. It's French, has an aggressive bubble and tastes like at least $12. (spotted at Esquin, QFC North Broadway)

Segura Viudas "Aria" Cava ($10) - They also have a slightly cheaper cava available for around $8; the label is cream and very plain with "Segura Viudas" in gold script and a rose with a pink label that runs about a buck more. This has been one of the more readily available, better deals in sparkling wine for years.

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