A nice bottle of champagne or sparkling wine adds flair to any gathering, elevates meals, and lightens all moods. No one ever “angry drinks” the bubbly stuff. Fizz and wine just go together. The bubbles — created through fermentation — go straight to your head and you immediately feel… lighter after a few sips.
Although sparkling wine largely gets saved for special occasions (graduations, weddings, holidays), it really is a versatile, everyday beverage. It’s perfect for snuggling up next to a winter’s fire or relaxing in the shade on a sunny summer’s day. It pairs well with almost all meals, citrus, and weather.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the bottles of sparkling wine that are actually “everyday affordable.” Sadly, that excludes almost all the actual champagne, as that stuff literally needs to come from the Champagne region of France. This naturally makes it more expensive, thanks to marketing. But, fear not, the Spanish make cava, the Italians make prosecco, and we Americans make plenty of sparkling wine from the Hudson to the Russian River Valleys. That means there are a lot of great options to choose from in the $10-$20 range.
One last thing, when buying sparkling wine, two words are of primary importance: Brut and Doux. Brut means dry and Doux means sweet. Beyond that, the rest of the stuff on the label denotes where and when it was made and the process it took from grape to bottle. We won’t get bogged down with those semantics, instead let’s just let the fizz carry us away.