I often get friends asking for champagne recommendations but I often turn it around and tell them my picks for top bubbles, after all there are some great sparking wines and proseccos out there. Below are my best bets for bubbles that are under $100. And although I do love the orange branding of Veuve, for flavour alone the Piper wins. But my recommendation to you is to go with the best bottle you can afford – be it for you and your loved one or your party. Nothing is worse than running out of bubbles because you spent your budget on one or two bottles of the most expensive brands.
Wolf Blass, Yellow Label: Sparking Brut Mousseux. $17.95 This bubbly features a pale straw yellow colour with fine bubbles. On the fine palate, green apple chardonnay flavours and strawberry Pinot Noir characters are complemented with a crisp lively acidity. It is dry and medium bodied. Great on its own but I love it in grapefruit mimosas. Great value.
La Marca Prosecco DOC Extra Dry. $17.95 This prosecco is very well balanced with a crisp dryness that counter-balances the sweeter notes of a golden delicious apple. Like with all prosecco the bubbles are larger than a champagne and they are quite persistent. The flavor is fresh and clean, with ripe citrus, lemon, green apple, and touches of grapefruit. The finish is light, refreshing, and crisp not too sweet. My pick for a great brunch bubbly.
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut. $54 Although often in the shadow of more well known champagnes (like Veuve), this red labelled Piper is actually a far superior champagne in flavour. Very lively and fresh, it has an appetizing nose marked by subtle peach fruit, herb touches and biscuit notes. The palate has great texture and focus, with mellow, slightly toasty flavours that are dry and complete. A gently harmonious bubbly – perfect for your midnight toasts.
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne. $68 This is one of most common of Champagnes these days – it seems everyone and their poodle seems to enjoy this one. And for good reason, it has a beautiful concentration with a surprising lightness, (a reflection of the high proportions of pinot noir and older reserve wines in the blend). This champagne features apple, pear, nutty and toasty flavours. The texture is nice and velvety with a zippy dry end. What I love about Veuve is its fine bubbles. This champagne is extra-dry and medium to full body with flavours that match the aromas.