It’s a New Year’s Eve tradition: Toasting out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new with a glass or two of champagne or sparkling wine.
Prices for sparkling wine range from less than $10 to more than $500 per bottle. Keep in mind that while you usually get what you pay for, some great options are out there for those of us on a budget.
Large negociant champagne houses that buy much of their own fruit — such as Veuve Clicquot, Bollinger, Roederer, Taittinger, Perrier Jouet and Nicolas Feuillatte — dominate the market.
Champagne, as its name implies, comes from the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine is bubbly from other parts of the world.
If you’re interested in supporting Virginia wineries, you have several options. You can find many in the Virginia section of your local wine shop. Try stopping by Grateful Red Wine Shop or Screwtop Wine Bar in Clarendon or the Curious Grape in Shirlington for these or other offerings from the Old Dominion:
- Veritas Scintilla
- Barboursville Brut
- Kluge Blanc de Blanc (Kluge has been renamed Trump Winery)
- Paradise Springs Sparkling Viognier
- Thibault-Janison Blanc de Chardonnay
If you’re more globally minded, here are some champagne and sparkling wine suggestions from all over the world at different price points. If you can’t find these exact bottles at your local wine store, ask for recommendations of similar products.
Top-Rated, High-Priced Champagnes
1997 Champagne Salon
- Cost: $500
- “Fans of grand cru Burgundy will be thrilled by this penetratingly minerally Champagne,” according to Food and Wine.
Champagne Armand de Brignac Brut Gold
- Cost: $300
- “The Champagne inside this gold-plated bottle with pewter labels is made only from Premier Cru- and Grand Cru-rated grapes. On the nose, it offers soft floral notes,” according to Gayot.com.
Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut
- Cost: $75 to $85
- “A foaming, lively wine, the nose says “Champagne” loud and clear via biscuit, citrus and white-flower aromas of appealing delicacy,” according to Cuisine.
Iron Horse Brut Green Valley Classic Vintage 2007
- Cost: $39
- This sparkling wine won a spot on Wine Spectator’s list of the 100 best wines for 2012. One reviewer on cellartracker.com wrote, “The palate is light, lively, apple, peach, floral, good acids. Well made and very enjoyable.”
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige
- Cost: $20
- “With elegant acidity and crisp structure, this medium-bodied sparkling wine displays an excellent mousse and a rich, lingering finish,” according to Wine.com.