Nothing says celebration quite like a nice bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne. Effervescent and fizzy, a bottle of bubbles is a quintessential party beverage that's best shared with loved ones. A festive bash is almost incomplete without a celebratory cork-pop followed by a heartfelt toast to commemorate the good times, right?
You don't have to break the bank to get a good bottle of sparkling wine. Nowadays, thanks in part to private-label winemakers, you can even grab a nice bottle of legit Champagne—a sparkling wine made in France's Champagne region—without shelling out a ton of money. Case in point: Costco's Kirkland Signature Brut Champagne, a delightfully fizzy, legitimate Champagne with an almost unbelievable $20 price tag, given that most entry-level Champagnes start around $40. (It's also a top pick of some sommeliers!)
Whether you like indulging in an inexpensive bottle of red wine or a favorite from Trader Joe's wine aisle, budget-friendly bubbles are always a crowd-pleaser—especially for special occasions where libations flow freely. Add a touch of excitement to end-of-year bashes by picking up one of these sommelier-approved bottles for under $25 and get ready to party.
Juvé & Camps Reserva de la Familia Brut Nature Gran Reserva Cava
Erin O'Reilly, a wine educator and blogger at Terravenos, says finding a true Champagne for under $25 in her area is difficult. Instead, she looks for bottles made in the traditional Champagne method, which involves allowing wines to age for extended periods "on lees," which gives the wine complexity. (Lees aging refers to the process of letting wines mature for months or years on top of spent yeast.) "Brioche, toast, and finesse—I want sparkling wines that taste like I'm enjoying apple pie or lemon tart," she says.
She recommends this golden-hued cava from Juvé & Camps, which is aged for 36 months and boasts a creamy mousse. "You'll find golden apple, grapefruit, white peach, apricot, quince, white flower, grassy notes, and a playful, bright acidity with more depth than a typical prosecco, making this a perfect bubbly for toasting or meals," O'Reilly says. This bottle retails for around $20—a total steal. "You get the complexity that comes with lengthy lees aging, brioche, and toast, but at a fraction of the Champagne price."
Gruet Blanc de Noirs Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine
Gruet uses the famous Champagne method for this bottle, which means, according to O'Reilly, that "you're getting everything except the official 'Champagne' name on the label—and the price tag." For that reason, Gruet has earned a place in O'Reilly's cellar as an affordable, casual sparkler. "It's consistently fantastic quality for value," she says. At around $19, this bottle boasts a pale salmon color and notes of golden apple, berry, baked pear, and a creamy spice finish. "It has that rich, round mouthfeel thanks to its frothy mousse. It also makes for a delightful breakfast wine!" she says.
McBride Sisters Collection Sparkling Brut Rosé
Samantha Capaldi, a certified sommelier and owner of Samantha Sommelier, counts this sparkling rosé among her favorites. "I was introduced to McBride Sister by my grandpa when he gifted us five cases to serve at my wedding in 2015," she says, adding that "this wine was a hit and tastes way more expensive than it is." Capaldi says it's a versatile wine that pairs well with everything. "It's the perfect amount of toasty without being too rich." At $24.99, it's a great option.
JCB No. 21 Brut N.V.
"This Crémant de Bourgogne is one of the better value sparkling wines I've had from the Burgundy region of France," says Mark Fang, a certified sommelier and founder of WineOMark.com wine blog. To the uninitiated, crémant is a type of sparkling wine made outside the Champagne region of France that uses the same traditional method.
This sparkling wine, which retails at around $25, combines freshness with complexity, with fine and persistent bubbles, Fang says. "I immediately enjoyed an aromatic bouquet of ripe green apples, peaches, and lemon. It's a great example of the excellence that crémants can achieve—and an excellent alternative to pricier Champagnes." Cheers to that!
Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore
"Prosecco can be so underrated. There are so many super cheap and quality ones out there," Capaldi says. "My tried and true for years has been this one from Trader Joe's." Capaldi says it's her number one sparkling wine of choice at the grocery store. "It's great on its own and perfect in an Aperol spritz," she says. This Prosecco has a low alcohol volume, so drinks can flow freely. For just $9.99, this is an incredible value for a great-tasting Prosecco you can pick up alongside your shopping.
François Martenot Crémant de Bourgogne
Andreas Larsson, ASKO Wine Advisor who was crowned Best Sommelier of the World in 2007, recommends François Martenot's Crémant de Bourgogne. "This is a pure and precise brut made primarily from chardonnay and pinot noir, grown in the limestone soils of Burgundy, and followed by a second fermentation in the bottle," Larsson says. He recommends it as a pre-dinner aperitif or to pair with a creamy cheese, such as Langres or Brillat-Savarin. This bottle retails for $25, making it a great gift option or dinner party pick. "Look for citrus, green apple, and some bready/buttery notes with a mild creaminess and vibrant freshness," he says.
Domaine Bousquet Sparkling Brut Traditional
This sparkler from Argentina rings in at $18, and Brianne Cohen, a Los Angeles-based certified sommelier and wine educator, says it does not disappoint. Made with 100 percent certified organic grapes, Domaine Bousquet's Sparkling Brut follows the traditional Champagne method. Cohen says this bubbly is crisp, refreshing, and high in acid, making it an excellent bottle to pair with food. "It punches way above its weight," she says. "It's great to enjoy at home or to take as a gift for the numerous holiday events this month!"
Bodkin Cuvée Agincourt Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc
Bodkin bills this bottle as California's first sparkling sauvignon blanc, which retails for around $20. The 2021 version marked the 10th bottling of this Champagne-method sparkling sauv blanc, which proves it has serious staying power. It's also a top pick of David Glancy, master sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, and founder of San Francisco Wine School. "This is a blend of two different vineyards in Lake County," he says. "It brings the citrus, tropical intensity of sauvignon blanc with the fun surprise of bubbles and a dry finish." Expect notes of lemongrass, lime peel, and pineapple.
Contadi Castaldi, Franciacorta, Brut NV
In addition to Cava and Crémant, another keyword to look for on sparkling labels is Franciacorta, a term for sparkling wines made following the Champagne method, but in Northern Italy's Lombardy region. "This wine is a blend of chardonnay, pinot nero [noir], and pinot bianco that was aged 20 months on the yeast in the bottle," Glancy says, selecting it among his top affordable sparkling wines. This will set you back around $24. Expect a tight, crispy bubble with notes of fresh florals, citrus, and white peach.
Jané Ventura Reserva de la Música Brut Rosé
"Like all Cava, this wine was made by the Champagne method with a second fermentation in the bottle," Glancy says. "This 100 percent Grenache rosé is from grapes grown in the Penedès region surrounding Barcelona. It has lots of fruit and floral aromas and a dry finish." Expect a fresh and fruity sipper that has a subtle sweetness.
Gerard Bertrand An 825 Crémant de Limoux Brut
"This sparkling wine originates from southern France where higher altitudes and limestone soils offer good conditions for keeping freshness and elegance," Larsson says. At $20, this bottle has a crisp and creamy palate, with notes of white-fleshed fruit. "It is an obvious party starter that works wonderfully with fish carpaccio, sushi, and sashimi due to its lightness, elegance, and freshness," Larsson says.
Marqués de Cáceres Cava Brut NV
"Cava is, hands down, the best, most convincing Champagne alternative," Cohen says. This cava, which retails for around $15, is made in the Spanish region of Penedès following the Champagne method. "Talk about a dupe," Cohen says. "This wine is palate cleansing and refreshing, and dry as a whistle, just like your favorite Champagne."
Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut
Hovering around $30, this sparkling wine from the Sonoma region of California is a pricier option, but it would make an excellent gift. Fang says he was impressed by the refreshing, crisp flavor, perfectly balanced with a subtle creaminess. "You can taste the initial citrusy notes with a blend of fresh green apple and pear, laced with a hint of toast and brioche," he says. "It has good persistent effervescence and an elegant finish." For a good-value sparkling brut from California, this is a great option.
Rotari Brut Rosé NV
"This is a longtime favorite of mine when it comes to high-performing and modestly priced bubbles," Larsson says. Made in the foothills of the Italian Dolomites, it follows a traditional fermentation in the bottle, followed by a 24-month lees aging. The result is an excellent sparkling rosé. "It shows pure aromas of red berries, citrus, and pink grapes with a generous palate and a crisp acidity. It's a wonderful pairing with salmon, tuna, and veal as it boasts both freshness and intense flavors," Larsson says. This sparkling rosé retails around $18.