In addition to true Champagne (from a demarcated area in France and made by a labor-intensive method of inducing bubbles), store shelves are stocked, especially this time of year, with a range of other types of sparklers, many not from France. And while perhaps not as prestigious as Champagne, quite a few are enjoyable as either a pre-meal aperitif or as an accompaniment to a range of fare, particularly sushi, zesty appetizers like shrimp with traditional cocktail sauce, and main course items like pasta with seafood or meat sauce and even veal dishes. Some widely available and sensibly priced examples follow.
Mionetto ($14) and La Marca Prosecco ($16)
Both of these dry sparklers hail from the Veneto area of Italy and show bouquets of ripe apples, peaches, and honey with a refreshing lemony finish.
Feixnet Gran Selection Cordon Negro Brut ($12)
From Spain, this wine has a dry taste of apples and pears with a bit of ginger in its refreshing finish.
Gruet Brut ($17)
From of all places, New Mexico, this bubbly shows a bouquet and taste of baked apples and brioche with hints of cinnamon and herbs in its crisp finish.
Domaine Chandon Brut ($23)
Made from grapes harvested in California’s Napa Valley, this wine has a bouquet and flavor of peaches with hints of toast and a crisp finish with touches of vanilla.
Pierre Sparr Cremant d’Alsace ($21)
While not as widely available as others, this top-notch dry sparkler from Alsace, France, shows a captivating bouquet and flavor of candied apple with a crisp, clean finish.(Find it at Zachys in Port Chester and Dodd’s in Millwood.)
Bartenura Moscato D’Asti ($12)
From Italy, in a distinctive blue bottle, this low-alcohol, semi-sweet kosher bubbly shows flavors of ripe peaches and apricots, and is ideal to mate with Hannukah favorites like potato pancakes and cheese-filled blintzes.