Cheers to the Best Cheap Champagne (Under $20 a Pop!)
Looking for bubbly on a budget? Our Test Kitchen sampled 20 different bottles to find the best cheap champagne for your celebrations.
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Time to Raise a Glass of (Cheap) Champagne!
Whether it’s the holidays or you just have something special to celebrate, a bottle of bubbly is always the right choice. It’s an iconic marker of special occasions.
Next time you raise a glass to toast, know that you don’t have to spend the big bucks to get a good glass of sparkling wine. In fact, the best cheap champagne feels just as special as a pricy bottle. But before you jet off to the store and fill your flute, check out our Test Kitchen’s top sparkling wine picks.
We Sampled 20 Bottles Under $20
But a few words on this cheap champagne taste test. To start, sparkling wine can only be called Champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France. If the wine comes from another region—even if it’s elsewhere in France—it’ll be called by another name. This being said, champagne (with a lower case ‘c’) has become the shorthand phrase for sparkling wine.
So for this test, our team used this expanded definition of champagne. They popped open bottles of all kinds of bubbly like Prosecco (an Italian bubbly), Cava (a Spanish sparkler) and even American sparkling wines. Each brand our team selected was under $20 and was scored for fizz and flavor.
Now check out our Test Kitchen-Preferred cheap champagne options!
“This one is light, bright and crisp,” says Shannon Norris in the Test Kitchen. Testers picked up notes of peach and melon in this bottle. Despite the name and the fruity subtleties, Cupcake Prosecco isn’t overly sweet. Shannon explains that this bottle of bubbly walks a fine line between dry or sweet.
This bottle, which retails for about $10, is a great people-pleasing option to include at your holiday table.
Cook’s California Champagne Brut
If you prefer your wine, be it cheap champagne or a bottle of the pricey stuff, to be on the slightly dry side, reach for Cook’s California Champagne Brut.
Popping open a bottle of this bubbly feels like a special occasion. This pale California sparkling wine is packed with lots of large bubbles.
Shannon shares that a sip of this cheap champagne is “light, crisp and full of bubbles.” It has notes of tart green apple and lemon zest. “This is one I’d drink, serve and cook with in my kitchen,” says Shannon.
Rondel Brut Cava
Next time you’re craving bubbles, our Test Kitchen recommends trying Cava, particularly Rondel Brut Cava. This Spanish sparkling wine isn’t as popular as Champagne or Prosecco, but it’s absolutely fizzy and fantastic.
In fact, the bubbles in this bottle are what really stood out to our Test Kitchen team. Rondel’s Cava was full of various-sized bubbles and held onto this fizz for a long time after pouring—three hours! That’s pretty impressive says our Test Kitchen’s Catherine Ward, a lover of all things champagne. And remember, if you can’t finish the bottle, you can store opened champagne for up to three days.
Beyond these bubbles, this Cava is wonderfully dry with flavors of pear and apple. These features make it a great complement to fish dishes and a striking yet welcome contrast to rich dinners. Give it a try with your Thanksgiving toast! Keep a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne on hand for guests that prefer their drinks NA.
19 Crimes Snoop Cali Gold Sparkling Wine
Snoop Dogg may have been pouring Chandon in his 2004 hit “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” but these days he’s popping open bottles of his own 19 Crimes Snoop Cali Gold Sparkling Wine.
This California-made sparkler is pale in color with the slightest hint of green and “refreshingly sweet,” according to Shannon. It has a bold flavor for a sparkling wine with notes of lemon, nectarines and green apple for a crisp finish.
Made with a blend of Muscat and Riesling grapes (among others), this sweetness is no surprise. But it’s a welcome flavor to pair with one of Snoop’s favorite hobbies: baking. He picked up plenty of pointers while hosting a cooking show with the inimitable Martha Stewart! Martha also has her own wine with 19 Crimes: Martha’s Chard.
Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut
If you prefer a dryer sparkling wine, our team suggests adding Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut to your list of must-try cheap champagnes.
This wine is made in Washington’s Columbia Valley, a climate very similar to Champagne, France. You’ll often see this brut labeled as American-style champagne—and it tastes like one!
This well-balanced, semi-dry sparkling wine has tart, Granny Smith apple notes, whispers of citrus and a toasty finish. While a bottle of Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut will only cost you about $12, “it still feels special,” says Catherine.
For a fizz that stays and a flavor you’ll adore, our Test Kitchen suggests Chloe Prosecco.
This affordable sparkling wine is full of bubbles of all sizes. The smaller ones linger to help keep that fizzy feeling even after you’ve been holding your glass for a bit.
Though, with the tart, fruit-forward flavors of this Italian bubbly, our Test Kitchen doesn’t anticipate you holding onto your stemware for very long. This Prosecco hits all the right notes with a bit of green apple and nice acidity. “It’s very clean and bright,” explains Shannon. “I’d be happy to toast with this one,” she says.
La Vostra Prosecco
This pleasantly pale bottle is full of large bubbles that tickle your nose as you sip. Our testers describe this Italian sparkling wine as brut (the winemaker’s term for dry) with slightly citrusy notes and a touch of honey. The team agreed that La Vostra’s bubbly option was absolutely sippable—maybe for more than a glass!
Taste of Home
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