You’ve just spent a pile of money on Christmas. Do you have to spend a mini-pile on Champagne for a crowd on New Year’s Eve?
Nope. For starters you can head to Costco and pick up Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne for $19.99 a bottle, compared to a minimum of $27.99 or more for our favorite nonvintage Champagnes, Pol Roger and $32.99 (prices from Wine.com).
Made in Champagne for Costco, Kirkland Champagne lacks the toasty complexity of a big-name Champagne, but unless they travel in connoisseur circles, most guests won’t notice the difference.
There are other more affordable sparklers that also deserve attention—if not a place in a lineup for a New Year’s Eve bubbling tasting. Head to your wine store and check out the options in:
Ask for recommendations from a staff member and look forward to the voyage of discovery. Here’s our recommendation:
One of our favorite sparklers, Yellow Tail Sparkling Bubbles Rosé from Australia, can often be found for $10.
You can also serve red bubblies such as Italian Brachetto and Lambrusco or sparkling Shiraz. For us, a fun New Year’s Eve involves tasting the different options.
According to a ranking compiled by industry publication The Drinks Business, the world’s largest Champagne brands in 2013 were:
1. Moet & Chandon
There are many smaller vintners who make beautiful Champagnes; you just don’t hear of them in the media. Instead, rely on recommendations from store personnel and friends.
Head there now. The closer you get to New Year’s Eve, the longer the lines!
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