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Mimosas are hard not to like, whether you’re a wine buff, aspiring oenophile, or anything in between. Objectively speaking, the cold crispness, bright citrus, and bubbles of this simple wine cocktail make any brunch or daytime gathering better, and there are countless ways to customize your recipe. While some experts would rather save the Champagne for sipping on its own––and recommend using other sparkling wines that often get the job done just as well while simultaneously softening the blow to your wallet––many take the “drink what you want” approach, encouraging home bartenders to, well, just put Champagne in a mimosa if they feel like it. Either way, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Read on for the best Champagnes for mimosas.
Justus Benjamin, Owner and Wine Curator at Boutique Vino in San Diego, is on team alternative sparkling wine. “Use something value driven, like Prosecco from Valdobbiadene, the most prestigious regions of Prosecco, then send me the $50 you saved,” he jokes. “Cava, made in the same method and standards of Champagne is also a great choice. Vintage cava from Bodegas Naveran runs under $25 and makes a mean peach mimosa.”
“It's not about snobbery––mimosas are delicious, but orange juice is going to drown out any flavor nuance of the base wine, so it's okay to use an inexpensive Champagne in this drink,” explains Caroline Conner, a wine educator and current Master of Wine Student. “If it must be done, a great [affordable] Champagne that is widely available is Pommery Brut, whose sharp, citrus notes work with orange juice.” Pommery’s Brut Royal is the ultimate approachable expression of the Champagne region and is ideal for those who prefer a mimosa on the balanced and not-too-sweet end of the spectrum. Pro tip: use freshly-squeezed orange juice when making mimosas (you’ll thank us later).
For those with sweeter-leaning palates, wine expert Shalynn Simatovich recommends looking to the Demi-Sec subcategory of Champagnes, a designation defined by its sugar content of between 32 and 50 grams per liter (in comparison, the Brut subgroup contains less than 12 grams of sugar per liter). “My favorite champagne to use for mimosas is Veuve Clicquot Demi-Sec––this is a great option for those who find Brut champagne to be too dry for their liking,” she says. “The acidity of the orange juice is a nice offset to the extra sweetness in this bottle. It is also great with pineapple juice for something a bit less traditional!”
Let’s say you’re craving something Champagne-adjacent––not just in terms of method but also in proximity––but you’re hoping not to break the bank. The answer here is Crémant. Produced in various regions around France as well as in Luxembourg and Belgium, Crémant wines are essentially an affordable cousin of Champagne. And while each designation offers its own idiosyncrasies, let’s turn our attention to the Loire Valley, which has long been revered for its sparkling wines. Gratien & Meyer, which has been at it since 1864, is behind this delicious and elegant Brut Rosé, which is aged for three times the minimum aging requirement of Crémant (one year), bringing ripe red fruits, medium body, and complex finesse to a mimosa without losing its character to the presence of orange juice.
Like cava, South Africa’s designated sparkling wine, Méthode Cap Classique, is also produced using the “Méthode Champenoise” (the process by which Champagne is made). And there’s something undeniably special about this Brut non-vintage––a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes––that not only represents the traditional method of making sparkling wine, but also serves as a window to the Cape and its terroir. After all, there’s a reason this wine was served at both Barack Obama’s presidential victory gathering and Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. At a surprisingly affordable price point, Graham Beck’s entry-level Brut and its notes of stone fruit, pastry, and white flowers and full, round body make it an excellent option to sip on its own or bring life to a few splashes of orange juice.
“Billecart-Salmon has a great Brut Nature,” says Vincent Stilletti, Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Manager at The Red Hook Winery in Brooklyn. According to Stilletti, this bone-dry Champagne (“Brut Nature” indicates that the wine contains less than 3 grams of sugar per liter) is ideal for those who find that the orange juice brings enough sweetness to a mimosa without the wine’s help. “[This is] a great skeleton to build a cocktail on without it getting too sweet, and will work with most juices, orange or otherwise,” Stilletti adds. Expect notes of toasted brioche and sharp-yet-elegant citrus on the nose, followed by a fruit-forward palate cushioned by freshly baked shortbread and soft florality.
If you’re opting out of consuming alcohol, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy a good mimosa. Skip the Martinelli and try a more thoughtful alcohol-free sparkling alternative, like TÖST, a naturally-sweetened and low-sugar sparkling white tea with cranberry and ginger. It’s dry, refreshing, and delicious on its own, not to mention its beautiful wine bottle-esque presentation, making this non-alcoholic sparkling drink a thoughtful gift or surprise for anyone not partaking (yourself included).
Try your TÖST mimosa with two parts sparkling tea and one part freshly-squeezed orange juice (you’ll want the cranberry and ginger notes to come through for complexity’s sake), then adjust the recipe to taste from there.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Wine and spirits writer Céline Bossart has long been a proponent of sparkling wines––from her Asti-soaked college days in Italy to present day (she’s currently sipping an extra dry sparkling Riesling while writing this).