You don’t have to pay a fortune for a great bottle of bubbly. These experts’ picks are all $40 or less.
’Tis the season for drinking sparkling wines. We’d argue it’s never not, but they’re especially popular around the winter holidays, and particularly New Year’s Eve. We talked with some wine experts from New York City’s best beverage programs and finest wine stores to find out their favorite affordable sparkling wines. These bottles all cost under $40 (before tax).
Matthew Kudry is the head sommelier at Flora Bar, a swank Upper East Side spot known for its great wine list. His pick: Stéphane Tissot (André et Mireille Tissot) Crémant du Jura Extra Brut, a no-dosage, Champagne-style sparkler.
“This is an incredibly ambitious, high-quality domaine producing a huge range of wines, and in spite of this wine being at the entry level, it is complex, full of marzipan and toast, and as pleasing as most champagnes that are more than twice as pricey. The sulfur regimen is also extremely sparing, lending extra freshness to the fruit, yet the wine is very clean.”
“It’s cheap but also delicious; it’s crowd-pleasing but also really good. Bereche is one of the best small producers of great sparkling wines you can get in NYC right now.”
Jonas Mendoza sells wine at Crush Wine & Spirits, one of New York’s best wine stores, which happens to be partly owned by restaurateur Drew Nieporent, the man behind hit restaurants like Nobu NYC, Tribeca Grill, and many others. Jonas’ pick: Bordelet Poire Granit, a gently sparkling pear cider, definitely a unique choice to bring to any party.
“It’s made by a former sommelier of a three-Michelin-starred restaurant (L’Arpege) who returned to his native Normandy to make cider. With flavor notes of Bartlett pear and dried pineapple, the slight touch of sweetness perfectly marries with deep stony minerality and mouth-watering lift.”
Holding an advanced certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Amy Racine is the wine director for two of John Fraser’s restaurants, Michelin-starred Dovetail and brand new The Loyal. Her pick: Foreau “Domaine du Clos Naudin” from Vouvray, in the Loire Valley of France.
“It’s honeyed and nutty on the nose, but totally dry. For that reason, it’s perfect at any part of the meal—an aperitif, through the meal with poultry or fish, and as an accompaniment for fruit-based or creamy desserts!”
And if you’re wondering about our favorite, there’s one type of sparkling that we bring with us to nearly every party. It’s the Raventós i Blanc Conca del Riu Anoia Brut Rosé, “De Nit,” a sparkling rosé from Spain. It’s fresh and minerally, with complexity added from a bit of Monastrell. It’s a crowd-pleaser at a very affordable price.