Amy Waller is a Certified Sommelier, and the wine director at The Bachelor Farmer restaurant in Minneapolis.
New Year’s Eve is upon us, wine friends, and no matter your plans, you’ll need a solid bottle of bubbles to ring in 2020.
While Champagne can be an expensive purchase, you don’t have to drop a fortune to have a good time. There are plenty of sparkly options from around the world that will provide a perfect complement to your celebrations.
I’ve got 4 budget-friendly recommendations for you, just in time for the new decade.
2015 Argyle Brut from Willamette Valley, Oregon
First thing to know is that Oregon is making a wide range of incredible wines, including some interesting sparklers.
Most are made from Pinot Noir and you can find them at a great value. This one is a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. I loved it for its lively, little bubbles, red fruit profile (think red apple skin) and its luxurious texture.
You’ll find it on the shelf for $22.99 when you visit Karina at France 44 in Minneapolis.
Cleto Chiarli Rosé de Noir Brut from Italy
Cleto Chiarli produces an assortment of beautiful Lambrusco wines and, note to self, not all Lambrusco is worth a toot.
This one had punchy, assertive bubbles that woke me right up. It was incredibly bright and fruit forward with notes of strawberries and raspberries. Easy drinking with a clean finish.
Pete at Thomas Liquors in St. Paul can point you toward this $16.99 bottle.
2015 Avinyó Reserva Brut Cava from Spain
Cava is not just for mimosas at brunch. You only need to spend a little extra for quality to go up significantly with these wines. This bottle comes from an organic producer and it’s aged for nearly 2 years before release.
I enjoyed the full body, assertive bubbles, toasted bread notes and golden apple character. This is a whole lot of wine for the money.
1010 Washington Wine & Spirits has this in stock for $19.99. Ask for Don.
Keusch ‘Origins’ Brut from Armenia
Start 2020 off by expanding your wine horizons with this bottle. It’s made of 2 grapes that you’ve never heard of (Khatouni and Voskehat) from a region that you’ve never heard of (Vayots Dzor, Armenia). How do you pronounce those? I have no idea, but it was my favorite in the bunch.
It started off with fresh, delicate bubbles and finishes with notes of honeysuckle and ripe pear. Refreshing and lovely.
You'll find it at South Lyndale Liquors in Minneapolis for $17.99.
Cheers to drinking more wine together in 2020!