Champagne Alternatives

Celebrations and bubbly go hand in hand, but true Champagne costing more than $25 per bottle can quickly break your budget. Whether you are planning a wedding or a New Year's Eve party, you can still toast with an elegant bubbly and save money by choosing an alternative to the world's most famous sparkling white wine.

Crémant

When most people utter the word "Champagne" they usually mean sparkling white wine, as not every bubbly comes from the region of Champagne in France. If you are sipping a French sparkling wine form any region outside of Champagne, you are probably drinking Crémant. Crémant, a French style of sparkling wine that can be slightly less bubbly than most Champagnes, is produced using the same method as Champagne involving secondary fermentation in the bottle. It's often made from more than just the traditional Champagne grapes of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. If you are looking to stay as close to a luxury wine like Champagne as possible, you can find many great Crémants that are $5 to $10 less per bottle.

Cava

For an even more affordable sparkling white produced by the same method resulting in similarly fine bubbles and excellent taste, look south of the French border in Spain where winemakers excel at making Cava. Like Champagne and Crémant, Cava can be anywhere from Dolce (sweet) to Brut Nature (extremely dry). It displays a slightly different flavor profile since this wine is typically produced from different grapes grown in Spain, such as Macabeu, but also often includes Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Great Cavas from Catalonia can be as much as $10 or $15 less than equally delicious Champagne, so this is an excellent option when celebrating with a large group.

Prosecco

In the last decade, Prosecco has really given Champagne a run for its money, becoming so popular as to eclipse its French counterpart on many menus. But what's all the fizz about? Like Champagne, Prosecco can only be called such if the grapes are grown in a designated region, in this case the Prosecco region in Veneto, Italy. It differs from Champagne not just in geography, but also in the winemaking process. This Italian sparkling wine is typically made from Glera grapes and fermented using a different method, in which the secondary fermentation (i.e. the trapping of the bubbles!) happens in the tank. This process is less expensive for winemakers, making many great bottles of Prosecco $10 cheaper than Champagne.

If you love the taste of sparkling white wine and want to uncork a few affordable Champagne alternatives, try some of our great bubblies now!