So New Year’s is nearly here, and you’re pretty sure you don’t want to spend more than ten bucks to get your bubbly on. Here are a few tips for buying champagne on the cheap, and surviving the bottle without a sparkling headache:
1) Champagne versus sparkling wine. For those of us who aren’t in the wine know, it’s a little alarming to discover that only the booze from the French region can truly be called champagne (or really old wineries that have been grandfathered in under the title). Never fear, though, sparkling is all kinds of a good time, plus it generally runs a whole lot cheaper.
2) Always go brut. Brut basically means dry, which translates to your tastebuds not being tortured with super sweet sparkling wine. It also means that there are fewer residual sugars in the wine itself, and that means a much less painful hangover come New Year’s Day.
3) Look at the label. I’m not usually a proponent of choosing wine based on its label. That said, cheap champagne is cheap champagne, and you might as well choose something snazzy if you’re going to be stuck with it all night. A few of my favorites include Freixenet, Cristalino, and Mionetto.
4) Consider cava or prosecco. Cava is Spain’s answer to champagne, and prosecco is Italy’s. Both can be had at a pretty good quality for a really low price (and, in fact, those last two snazzy bottle designs are good choices for these varietals). Throw in a bottle of cava rosé, and you’ll be breaking hearts all night long.
After all, who ever said you can’t be fancy and cheap all at once?