If you read Part 1 of this blog you understand why calling a bottle bubbles 'Champagne', if it's NOT actually Champagne, is a bit of a faux pas.
That's not to say that you can't find beautiful bottles of bubbles made in the same method as Champagne. They are equally as wonderful and carefully crafted but just happen to be grown and made in different regions. From all over the world actually! You can find high quality bubbles for a fraction of the price of any true Champagne that will have you poppin' bottles any wine geek would love.
Here I'll give you a couple points to look for while shopping for your perfect NYE bottle and I've named three of my favourites. I hope you enjoy!
TIPS FOR FINDING GREAT AFFORDABLE BUBBLES
1) Look for sparkling wines made in the TRADITIONAL CHAMPAGNE METHOD.
2) France has over 20 sparkling wine regions outside of Champagne, making spectacular bubbles, so it's a great option! However take a peek outside of this Country and you'll find that Champagne Method bubbles are being made all over the world. Italy being one of my personal favourites but also Cava from Spain and many others.
3) Investigate how long the Tirage ("Tear'ahj") is on each bottle you're thinking of trying. All Traditional Method style bubbles have a certain amount of time that they are aged on the 'lees' (which is a fancy way of saying 'dead yeast particles' that remain after the wine is fully fermented. Yikes! )
The longer the wine stays on the 'lees', or the longer the Tirage, the more developed and sophisticated the bottle of bubbles will become (2-8 years is best). You'll find yourself with a fuller bodied, creamier style sparkling which is what you want in a good 'Champagne'. With Traditional Method sparkling wine you get finer more soft subtle bubbles as well. Perfection!
MY TOP THREE PICKS FOR THIS NEW YEARS EVE!
1) Ca' del Bosco Cuvee Presitage from Lombardy, ITALY. Around $50.
2) Ferrari Brut from Trento, ITALY. Around $30
3) Villa Conchi Cava from Vila-Rodona, SPAIN. Around $20
My top picks are arranged by price point but not necessarily by preference. All would make stellar NYE bubbles! I hope this has helped your NYE choices along and please let me know if you get your hands on any of these, most should be available at any liquor store across Canada. I would love to know your thoughts!
Have great New Years Everyone!
**If you want to know more about how Champagne is made check out Wine Folly