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Budget Fizz Alternatives

Budget Fizz Alternatives

It’s no secret that Champagne is expensive. Some don’t see why they are so “cher” while others won’t drink anything else.


For most people Champagne is bought for an occasion, something to celebrate with therefore justifying the high cost of the bottle.

More and more though, people are looking for alternative cheaper suggestions and many prefer to drink fizz over still wine.


So, what’s out there that will rival the granddaddy of fizzers?


Well, it depends what you are looking for and how much you want to spend.
There are tons of cork poppers but there are a few questions to ask before jumping in.

 

Grape Variety?

If you are looking for a Champagne substitute, find something that is made from the same grape, in this case a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.

 
Cava by comparison is made with the same method as Champagne but uses different grapes therefore the taste will be different than if you were expecting a complete parallel.

 

How it’s made: Methode Traditional or not?

Look at the label, if it says “Traditional Method”, “Methode Champenoise”,  “Bottle Fermented”, “Method Classic” or something along those lines then it is likely to have some of the same nuances of Champagne especially if it uses the same grapes.

Basically the wine has undergone a secondary fermentation in the bottle that the wine is in imparting depth and flavour that is hard to beat.


There are a few different methods of making fizz and not all of them produce the same result but the traditional method should produce the right type of fizz every time.

 

If you are just looking for a different sparkler and not “Champagne like” here are a few suggestions as to what to look out for.


Cremant – wines made using the traditional method but from outside the Champagne region therefore cannot be called Champagne. These wines tend to be softer and creamier with smaller bubbles.


Blanc de Blanc (white from white) or Blanc de Noirs (white from black) – Exactly what it says. Sparkling wine made from white grapes – usually 100% Chardonnay or sparkling wine made from the juice of black skinned grapes – usually pinot noir. Usually made in the traditional method and usually really good.

 

Prosecco – Italian sparkler using the Glera grape and made using the Charmat method where a secondary fermentation takes place in a steel tank. Therefore cheaper to produce and cheaper to buy. Some of the more expensive Prosecco’s are bottle fermented.


Sekt – German sparkling wine using the Charmat method. Most is made using imported wine from Italy, Spain and France. 


Cava – Made from the Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes using the traditional method. Vintage Cava’s available and very affordable.


New World Fizz – there are mostly good or great fizzes made in new world countries. Again, look at the label to see how it’s made and what grapes are used.

 

Of course there are many other sparklers out there that I haven’t mentioned. Almost every country produces a sparkling wine. They are all unique styles of fizz and depending on your budget there’s something there for you. 


Remember, not all fizz is made to taste like Champagne and, more importantly, there doesn't’t need to be a special reason the drink it.

 

Drink This: 

Soft 'n Simple Prosecco

Prosecco
Wine Tags: 

Comments

I love a Vouvray or Cremant!

Prosecco in McLaren Vale is very good - I love the Primo Estate.

Tried my first Sparkling Vermentino yesterday too (McLaren Vale).

Bring on the fizz!

Thanks for linking up this week on the #WINENOT Linky Party!

di's picture

Thanks for the comments.
Anything from McLaren Vale is worthy in my opinion, some fantastic ground being broken there wine wise, you are lucky to be part of it.
Bet the sparkling Vermentino was good and refreshing - I can almost taste it right now!

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