Whether you’re a Champagne drinker normally or not, there are myriad reasons to pour a glass of bubbly—a friend’s engagement, a milestone birthday, a new job—and it helps to have a go-to label in your pocket. Sparkling wines can be vastly different, so knowing what you like will help prevent forcing down a sour glass of grapes for the sake of celebration.
Here are our five favorite sparkling wines, for all your toasting needs.
J. Roget is a good alternative to cheaper champagnes like Korbel or Andre. With a darker gold color and an apple-y taste, this is a great starter-label. A good choice to have on hand for small, impromptu celebrations (and comes in a mini-bottle in case you ever just want a bit of bubbly by yourself!)
2. LaMarca Prosecco
LaMarca is a sweet and light prosecco with a slightly dry aftertaste. If you’re not a big sparkling wine drinker, this is a great introductory label. The tasting notes quote golden apple, white peach and honeysuckle, though the apple is definitely the strongest flavor here. Perfect for celebrating the first day of summer!
Chandon (not to be confused with the pricier Moet & Chandon) is a great mid-priced wine. The Brut Classic contains citrus notes with a hint of caramel, without being too dry or too sweet. Perfect for birthdays!
J sparkling wine has become my new go-to label. Slightly dry and not as sweet as the LaMarca, J is a complex taste that still manages to be as sleek as the bottle it comes in. The label quotes notes of Bosch pear balanced by toasted almonds. Whether or not you can discern those flavors, J is crisp and refreshing, easy to drink, and perfect for celebrating promotions, the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, or for pulling out at your first adult cocktail party.
5. Veuve Clicquot
The Champagne of champagnes. Veuve Clicquot is an icon, consistently rated above 90 points. This wine also contains notes of pear, but is said to have “biscuity tones” and a hint of anise. Read that to mean a very complex taste. This is the wine to pull out for engagements, births, and when your best friend makes partner.
J. Roget image courtesy of wallywine.com
Chandon image courtesy of imgarcade.com
La Marca image courtesy of lamarcaprosecco.com
J image courtesy of jwine.com
Veuve Clicquot image courtesy of greatwinenews.com