It’s New Year’s Eve and even if you’re not a fan of champagne, you might end up with a glass of bubbly in your hand at some point during the night!  But the bubbly need not be Champagne!  There are plenty of sparkling wine options from which to choose – and they could even save you a few bucks too!

So, without further hesitation, consider this list of  “alternatives”:

  • Prosecco:  A sparkling wine from northeast Italy.  Medium-bodied, dry or off-dry wine with light stone fruit flavors.  The fully sparkling ones are called “Spumante” and the lightly sparkling are called “Frizzante”.
  • Asti:  Another Italian white, but this time from northwest Italy.  It’s made from the Muscat grape, which gives it intense floral and fruity flavors.  Light-bodied.  A great buy if you want an easy to drink wine.
  • Sekt:  This is the German word for Sparkling wine.  Most brands are simple, inexpensive, medium or dry, and are usually light-bodied with floral or fruity flavors.
  • Cava:  Spanish sparkling wine made from local grape varieties.  Wines have neutral fruit flavors and less acidity than Champagne.
  • Cremant:   This indicates a sparkling wine made in France, the main region being the Loire.  Wines have high acidity, green and citrus flavors.
  • Sparkling Reds: These wines are usually Shiraz-based and are a specialty in Australia.
  • Other regions producing notable sparkling wines are: South Africa, New Zealand and California.

Other Terms to Know:

  • Blanc de Blancs: made from white Chardonnay grapes
  • Blanc de Noirs: made from a blend of red grapes
  • Rose: pink Champagne, typically very sweet
  • Dry: sweet
  • Brut: less sweet
  • Doux: very, very, very sweet