Here are some sparkling wines that will brighten your New Year’s, but not lighten your wallet.
Chateau de l’Aulee NV Brut
GREAT VALUE Three stars
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Loire Valley, France, $23
This fabulous Cremant de Loire is 100-percent chenin blanc, and it shows remarkable depth and precision with bright fruit flavors. It is so good that restaurants have snatched most of the supply, but it is getting into retail stores. A delightful wine at a very good price.
Domaine du de Clos de l’Epinay Brut
Two and a half stars
Vouvray, Loire Valley, France, $19
Also 100 percent chenin blanc, this wine is on the earthy side, with bruised-apple flavor and a hint of autumn.
L’Antica Quercia Matiu Brut
Prosecco Superiore Conegliano, Italy, $20
Bright and citrusy, this delicious wine could dispel the image of prosecco as a simple fizz.
Portium Cava Brut
Penedes, Spain, $14
This is a bit richer and brighter than most cavas, perhaps because chardonnay accounts for 30 percent of the blend. The Spanish varieties Xarel-lo, Macabeu and Parellada make up the rest.
Cuvee Tsar’s Legend Blanc de Blancs 2009
One and a half stars
Sparkling wine from Moldova: Why not? This well-made wine offers flavors of apricot and cream, and would go nicely with coulibiac, pierogi or “Doctor Zhivago.”
Vickery Park Chardonnay Brut
If you’re looking for a fizz to pour at a party and your budget is tight, this straightforward bubbly can do the trick.
Exclusive to Trader Joe’s.
Three stars Exceptional, two stars Excellent, one star Very Good
Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.