Popping the cork for 2018 doesn’t have to be expensive

(Phil Gregory/WHYY)

(Phil Gregory/WHYY)

Many people will welcome the New Year with a champagne toast. But you don’t have to shell out big bucks for that bottle of bubbly.

George Staikos is a certified sommelier who hosts The Educated Grape website and teaches a wine appreciation class at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

He says Champagne, a type of sparkling wine that’s produced from grapes grown in a specific region of France, can cost as much as $200 a bottle.

But there are plenty of less expensive sparkling wines such as Cava, which comes from Spain.

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“That’s more on the value level, sort of the $9 or $10 to $20-a-bottle offering. Whether you’re having just a toast or perhaps mimosas, that’s just a great go-to, really a good quality for the price option.”

Staikos says Prosecco from Italy is also a good value.

“That’s lightly sparkling and sometimes a little residual sugar, which a lot of people gravitate towards and like. You shouldn’t be spending any more than $17 or $18 a bottle. For the easier to drink option under $20 that’s sort of the crowd-friendly style, if you will. That’s a good way to go.”

There’s also Cremant sparkling wines from France.

“They’re made in the traditional method where the secondary fermentation happens in the bottle just like the traditional method in champagne, but the price of the fruit, the price of the land, everything is on a lower scale. So, you’re getting traditional method sparkling wine at a great value at a $15 to $35 price point.”

Staikos says Franciacorta sparkling wines from Italy could also be a good choice for budget-conscious New Year’s revelers.

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