Unless you look in the mirror and see Jay Gatsby or Jay Z staring back, you probably don't have the cash flow to pop bottles of Krug, Cristal or Dom Perignon at New Year's. With Christmas present expectations soaring ever higher, let's face it ... by Dec. 31, we're broke. But don't go buying the bottom shelf rotgut wine just yet. Complete with flavor notes to tempt your taster, here are our top delicious picks for bubbly, celebratory fun on a budget:
THE ETERNAL QUESTION:
Prosecco or Cava?
Both are fantastic options for budget bubblies, but be aware: There can be a substantial difference in their flavor profiles. Prosecco is generally sweeter and is perfect for short stints or New Year's Day brunch, but it may lead to sugar headaches if consumed in volume or at low quality. On the flip side, Cava is primarily bone-dry, with high acidity, and it might be better for the long haul.
Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico
No orange juice needed here. Unlike many overly sweet proseccos, the Franco is balanced, clean and delightful. Bursting with citrus, orange blossom apple, pear and almond, this fizzy treat is a longstanding favorite of critics'. $17
Juvé Y Camps Reserva de la Familia Cava
A classic in the sparkling wine category, this a great starter for newbies.
A blend of Macabeu, Xarel-lo and Parellada grapes, it is crisp and refreshing with notes of Meyer lemon, white peaches, apricots and toasted bread. $16
(for those who like a little pink in their drink):
Rose is one of the hottest wine choices these days, and pink bubblies can be just as delicious.
Crémant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Hailing from the Languedoc region of France, this appealing wine is both delicate and rich.
Made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Chenin Blanc, the Bertrand pleases with strawberry, raspberry, citrus, and brioche bread. $17
KEEP IT IN CALI
(for those who want to keep it semi-local and reduce their carbon footprint)
Anderson Valley Brut
This ever-popular bubbly hails from 200-year-old French Champagne house Louis Roederer (of Cristal fame). A solid bet for any occasion, the Roederer is comprised of 60 percent Chardonnay, 40 percent Pinot Noir and shows notes of honey, pear and apple. $20
Mumm Brut Prestige
Named No. 54 on Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines of 2014, the blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir continues to be a crowd pleaser with notes of apple, ginger, citrus and vanilla. $20
Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs
The perfect pick for those diehard California Chardonnay lovers. Using 100 percent of the varietal, this wine shows luscious notes of vanilla cream, brioche bread, apple and pear. $20
J Vineyards Cuvée 20
A California classic composed of 50 percent Chardonnay, 49 percent Pinot Noir and 1 percent Pinot Meunier, offering citrus, honeysuckle, toast and vanilla. $27
Note: All of the above suggestions can be found at local wine shops and some grocery stores across San Diego, and they may vary slightly in price by location. Grab this list and go for it!