It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to add some fizz to your holiday celebrations.
Some wine drinkers consider Champagne in a league of its own, with the cool climate and limestone soils leading to toasty flavor and delicate bubbles that you can’t quite replicate with anything else, justifying its hefty price tag.
But for most of us, sparkling wines from other regions are just as much of a treat. If your taste leans more to the fruity, go for a tank-fermented wine, sometimes labeled with “charmat” on the label. It’s made quickly, and should be drank while it’s young and has its peak fruit flavors. It’s cheaper for the winemakers to produce, making it easier on your wallet.
If your tastes lean more toward the creamy, toasty flavors of champagne, ask your wine merchant for something made in the traditional champagne method. Many cheaper sparkling wines are made by carbonating still wine, but wine made in this old-school way will get its carbonation from a second fermentation in the bottle. The more time a wine has to ferment in a bottle, the more complex it will be.
When it comes time to serve, Lindsay Vallejo, the wine director of Oovina, a new wine bar in the New York City, suggests chilling it down to about 50 degrees, a little warmer than refrigerator temperature, so you can get all the flavors of the wine.
“I like to serve sparkling wine in a white wine glass, and not a flute. A larger glass allows more air to get to the wine, so the wine opens up much quicker and the aromatics release easily and quickly,” Vallejo says. “You can’t get your nose in one of those flutes.”
For a few ideas on what to serve, click through the gallery above.
More holiday drink ideas from Yahoo Food: