Not Martha

inexpensive sparkling wine recommendations from people who know

I got a chance to catch up on some podcasts recently and, since New Years is approaching, my ears perked up when I heard two recommendations for inexpensive sparkling wines.

The first was in the October 18th episode of Good Food in an interview with Robin Goldstein, founder and editor-in-chief of Fearless Critic Media and whom you might know as that guy that got his fake restaurant and award from Wine Spectator. The second half of the interview talks about some of the things he found while writing The Wine Trials. He talks about the fact that the $12 bottle Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut consistently scored higher than a $150 bottle of Dom Perignon. Domaine Ste. Michelle is a Washington wine so I’ve been seeing it in my regular grocery stores for $9.

The other was a recent (Dec. 8th) Fresh Air interview with Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, the husband-and-wife team behind the wine column Tastings. They recommend the Cristalino Brut Cava as a good budget bottle for celebrating small things, like getting home on time. (I recognize this name because a friend once declared it was what you buy when you’re too poor to get Cristal.) You can read their column on good bubble for celebrating the New Year here.

· comments [16] · 12-19-2008 · categories:drink ·

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Joceline // Dec 19, 2008 at 8:22 am

    I ALWAYS buy Cristalino at Trader Joe’s and love it! Glad to know someone “official” recommends it.

  • 2 liz // Dec 19, 2008 at 11:13 am

    We usually celebrate Christmas Eve with Prosecco or Cava. I saw the Ste. Michelle at my liquor store(sadly no wines or liquors sold at grocery in CT) so I may give that a try this year!

  • 3 megan // Dec 19, 2008 at 11:13 am

    whole-hearted recommendation for Segura Viudas – a lovely daily-drinking Cava. in Seattle, find it at Esquin for well under $10 all the time. om nom nom – especially with spicy food!

  • 4 Kay // Dec 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Ste. Michelle? Who knew I was using such decent stuff for our mimosas on Thanksgiving! They were pretty tasty

  • 5 Megan // Dec 19, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I work at World Market and we sell a bottle called Paul Chenou (I’m spelling the last name wrong.) It comes in a yellow bottle and tastes exactally like veuve cliquot. Also eight bucks is just in my price range. I’m getting this stuff for my wedding.

  • 6 julie. // Dec 19, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    I love John and Dotty’s column in the Wall Street Journal. We bought a case of the Cristaliano a few years back when my son was born and it was a big hit at the baptism party :)

  • 7 SM // Dec 19, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    I recommend Mountain Dome wines. Their sparkling wines are fantastic and their price is quite reasonable. Mountain Dome is a family winery and their sparkling wines, in which they specialize, are made in the traditional French style.

  • 8 Deanna // Dec 20, 2008 at 5:32 am

    We drink a lot of Wolf Blass sparkling at about 10 dollars a bottle.

  • 9 Steph // Dec 20, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Oh man. Cristalino. I need to see if I can find that out here. I haven’t picked up any sort of champagne since I left Seattle and would buy it in the grocery store on an impulse. I wonder if liquor stores in PA carry it…

    I got some sort of cheap champagne for new years last year that came in a fancy green swirly bottle that I loved. I wish I could remember what it was called….

  • 10 April // Dec 21, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Give Gruet a try as well. A French family moved to New Mexico and now produces some of the most reasonably priced and excellently crafted methode champenoise sparklings. About $15 a bottle. I buy a case and give it for Christmas gifts.

  • 11 C // Dec 22, 2008 at 6:11 am

    Over the weekend I had a glass (or three) of Asti sparkling wine that was so good I didn’t even know what to do with myself. Wine snobbery is silly, and my palate is obviously not sophisticated enough to really discern.

  • 12 C // Dec 22, 2008 at 6:13 am

    I forgot to say it was Martini & Rossi. See – totally not sophisticated ;)

  • 13 em // Dec 22, 2008 at 9:31 am

    I second the Gruet; their blanc et noir is lovely and they use organic agriculture methods.

    Also, don’t overlook Prosecco!

  • 14 wendy // Dec 22, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Another vote for the Gruet. Very good stuff. I also like the Blanquette de Limoux. I don’t like the St Michelle very much though.

  • 15 Stacy // Dec 22, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Funny! I actually recommended Domaine Ste. Michelle sparkling wine to two friends today before I saw this post. We visited their winery near Seattle last year and loved it. We actually prefer their Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine which retains a slight pink tinge. Gorgeous and tasty!

  • 16 jenG // Dec 30, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Chiming in for Gruet — best sparkling wine EVER. My only regret is that my friend no longer works at a restaurant and gets it at cost…but I’ll happily pay the $15, and have done for New Year’s Eve this year.

    Didn’t know they were organic…even better!

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