11 of the best sparkling wine for any occasion (no need to wait for NYE!)

What’s the difference, and what’s better - plus sparkling wines and Champagnes to try!
Is sparkling wine champagne?

So many people reserve sparkling wine for extreme special occasions like weddings and New Year’s Eve. Why not add a little sparkle to your life on normal occasions, like a Friday wine night in with your husband? Or a girls night gathering with bowl of potato chips? Sparkling wine is like glitter: it just makes everything more fun. Today, we’re rounding up the best sparkling wine to keep it in your wine rack (or fridge) so you always have a bottle to pop. Here’s why…

3 reasons to sparkling wine is the best for any special occasion!

Sparkling wine is like glitter

1. YOU CAN DRINK IT WITH ANYTHING

It compliments everything from dessert (if you choose to eat it first or last) to a hearty steak. Or a salad, creamy soup, seafood dish, tangy Asian, spicy Mexican, or a turkey sandwich on crusty bread. Pretty versatile, right?

2. IT’S NOT EXPENSIVE

You can get an excellent bottle of sparkling for $15-20, and you can also get splits if you want just one glass. 

3. IT ADDS SPARKLE TO A BLAND NIGHT  

If you are lucky enough to visit the winery in Sonoma Valley, Gloria Ferrer serves this with a smattering of pick-up snacks like olives, almonds and goat cheese, which you could just as easily make at home and serve with a movie.

More than 44 million bubbles are in a bottle of sparkling wine, according to Wine & Spirits Magazine. If there are 44 million bubbles in a bottle, that means there are approximately 7,333,333 per glass. How’s that for a bubbly, fun wine fact? Throw it out at Happy Hour to dazzle your friends the next time you order a glass of sparkling.

Is sparkling wine the same as champagne?

There’s a lot of confusion between sparkling wine vs champagne. YES, Champagne is sparkling wine. Champagne is sparkling wine from Champagne, France. Sparkling wine is from every place else. Let’s make it simple: the wine itself is exactly the same if made by the champagne method, methode champenoise. Champagne is a region in France, therefore wine produced from the region carries its name. It’s is made from three types of grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, and produced in a lengthy process to give it the bubbles called methode champenoise. Prosecco is mainly made in Italy with Prosecco/Glera grapes. That’s why saying “french Champagne” is redundant. All Champagne is French.  All Sparkling is delicious. Make it a resolution to not wait for New Year’s Eve to enjoy the bubbly!

TRY THESE SPARKLING WINES

You can’t go wrong with the Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut or Chandon Brut Rosé as your sparkling wines of choice. Both are affordable (!) and not too sweet. The Sonoma Brut is a great dry, clean sparkling with hints of green apple and lemon that make it a crowd pleaser and easy-drinking glass of bubbly. You can pick them up at your local grocery stores or Costco!

How to pour sparkling wine to keep the bubbles

The traditional method is to pour straight into the glass. However, NPR recommends tilting your glass preserves more of the bubbles.

Sparkling Wine Brands to try

In general, sparkling wines from other regions are far more affordable than champagne. Personally? We love California Sparkling – Chandon Etoile Rose (fancy!) and Gloria Ferrer (we love the wine club!) are two of our top picks. We toured several places in Sonoma and Napa, and actually got to see the bottling process at J Vineyards. GH Mumm and Veuve Cliquot are popular champagnes you can find in the grocery store that are excellent.

Here are a few of our favorites, which you can find at Total Wine, Walmart, Target, or your local grocery store:

sparkling wine types

A few of the types you can find in the grocery store:

  • Prosecco
  • Cava
  • Brut
  • Brut Rosé
  • Champagne

Sparkling Wine Cava

Cava

This the Seguara Viudas Brut Cava for your weekend brunch. It’s light and mild and affordable ($8.99!). Add a splash of orange juice (or not) and serve with eggs, bacon, and chill vibes with Taylor Swift Folklore playing in the background. Find it Walmart

Brut

Champagne to try

Prosecco

sparkling rose

toast sparkling JaM Cellars

JaM Cellars Toast Brut is dry like British wit and tastes like pears and pineapples mixed with a little bit of toast. 🥂 Pair with spicy wings and blue cheese and bluegrass. Available at Walmart

Related: what sparkling wine glass to choose and how sparkling wine is made

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