Whether it's a wedding, the holidays, or celebrating another big event, there's something magical about popping the cork on a bottle of Champagne. And, while good Champagne is known to be expensive, there are some fantastic bottles that are surprisingly budget-friendly. Although these include some less expensive true Champagnes, note that most bottles are not technically Champagne but classified as sparkling wines, including cavas, proseccos, and sparklers from all over the world.
The tastes of these 10 bottles will vary because of the grape varieties and methods used, but none is short on the festive bubbles that tell us it's time to celebrate. Most bottles are relatively easy to find and are under or around $20.
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Many Italian proseccos are frizzante, meaning they're gentle on the bubbles. For a wine that's more punctuated with a signature prosecco taste, this spumante bottle is ideal.
Cavicchioili 1928 Prosecco Spumante is an extra dry sparkling wine made entirely of Glera grapes. You'll enjoy how bright this wine is, a perfect balance of sweet fruits and hints of florals against a dry backdrop. It offers everything you'd expect at a reasonable price of $15 or so.
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Freixenet offers a line of Spanish cavas, sparkling wines made in Spain, ranging from sweet to dry. All are affordable and beautifully packaged. Cordon Negro Extra Dry is a fantastic find for $13 or less. It was designed specifically for modern tastes and cuisine and made with Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada grapes. While it's dry, it has a hint of sweetness, so it's very approachable and perfectly shareable.
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Korbel has been a leader among California sparkling wines for years. As Korbel is readily available in almost every wine store and offered in many varieties, you will be able to easily find a sparkling wine that is as sweet or as dry as you like.
The driest is Korbel Natural, considered the winery's "house style" of California Champagne. It's produced from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes using the same traditional methods as French Champagne. This delivers a flavor that mimics the expensive stuff, but at a fraction of the price. For about $16 a bottle, it's a great one to have around for a last-minute celebration.
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A sparkling rosé is a fabulous way to celebrate absolutely anything. If you like your bubbles sweet and fruity, Yellow Tail Pink Bubbles is another wallet-friendly winemaker that appears in stores nationwide. This Australian sparkler offers the taste of strawberries, lemons, cherries, and tropical fruits. It's not too sweet and the finish is refreshingly crisp. Selling at $10 or less, there's no guilt when you go pink.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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For a true Champagne, this is a fantastic—and budget-friendly—option. You will spend at least $30 for Veuve Clicquot Brut, but that's reasonable compared to the majority from the French region. It's also easy to find because it is widely distributed; just look for the distinct yellow label.
This Champagne will never let you down as it is meticulously and consistently blended from Pinot Noir, Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes. Bright fruits dominate the flavor while hints of vanilla punctuate the aroma. It's fresh, lively, and an ideal bubbly.
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Columbia Valley in Washington, where the Chateau Ste. Michelle vineyard sits, is the same latitude as the Champagne region in France. Combine this with the fact that Domaine St. Michelle Brut uses the identical grape varietals as French champagne, and you've got a stunning sparkler with perfect acidity and flavor.
Overall, the chateau's brut has everything you'd expect from Champagne: lovely citrus and apples, lively bubbles, and a balance of sweet and dry. At around $13, it's perfect for any occasion, no matter how casual or formal.
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You'll definitely want to hunt down Tarantas Sparkling White. This organic Spanish sparkler is produced on a centuries-old estate where they're as dedicated to the environment as they are to producing fantastic vino.
The wine is a blend of organic Macabeo and Airén grapes, offering a bright earthiness and crisp fruit notes that are sure to please. It typically sells for less than $12 and the label is fantastically modern, so it's a bottle you won't mind showing off.
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Barefoot Cellars from Modesto, California, is one of the most recognizable names for American wine consumers. While the still wines may be most familiar, the Barefoot Bubbly line is worth checking out. There are 11 options to choose from, ranging from the Sweet Red Champagne to Extra Dry. The Brut Cuvée Champagne is not too dry and offers brilliant fruits in every sip, so it will please most palates. Plus, at around $10 and available widely, it's an ideal bottle to have chilled and ready for any celebration.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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As all-natural and organic food has become more popular, so have natural wines made with minimal human intervention. And these pure wines feature some brilliant sparklers worth exploring. A perfect example is Dibon Cava Brut Reserve. The trio of grapes—Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo—are grown with organic and biodynamic farming practices, and the wine is left as unadulterated as possible.
In this cava, you'll enjoy steady, tiny bubbles against a vivacious fruitiness balanced with ideal acidity. Priced at around $13, it has a delicious feel-good taste that is a testament to the natural methods used to produce it.
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Another natural wine, Jo Landron Brut Atmosphères is produced by Domaine de la Louvetrie in France's Loire Valley. It's made with traditional methods and features a blend of Folle Blanche and Pinot Noir grapes.
The organic wine has a fun label that will surely draw you in and a price tag of around $20 that won't break the bank. It has a natural zest and raw wine taste, and a minerality that is offset by sweet herbs, citrus, and red fruits, without being very sweet.