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top three sparkling wines for under $30.00

My brother is getting married in may.
Please give me your top 3 fizzy adult beverages. Proseco, Cava, domestic stuff are all good, as long as they are tasty and under $30.00
Thanks!

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  1. Schramsberg Blanc de blanc, 2002, $25.

    (idea stolen from NY Times article I read yesterday online: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/20/din... registration required)

    2 Replies
    1. re: cheesemonger

      I second that. I just got back from Napa and a visit to Schramsberg, their bubbly is fantastic. Blanc de blancs is very good at the price point but if you really want a GREAT sparkler, pick up a bottle of the J. Schram or Reserve.

      1. re: onefoodguy

        I've has some nice sparkling wines from Schramsberg, but for the price I think there are better values in Champagne.

    2. For under $30, Moscato d'Asti has to be on the list.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Chicago Mike

        moscato d'asti is not so much sparkling as it is frizzante. as fabulous as it is, i wouldn't think of it as a toasting/celebratory wine (except maybe on xmas eve.)

      2. Ceretto Moscato d'Asti Vignaioli di Santo Stefano.
        Usually retails for $20 or less.
        Lovely Moscato d'Asti, naturally low alcohol (5.5%), sweet bubbly ideal for festive occasions.

        8 Replies
        1. re: RicRios

          how sweet is the Moscato d'asti? or do you mean sweet as in good.

          1. re: gastrognome

            I mean sweet as in dolce.
            I usu. don't like sweet stuff (that is, unless you put a d'Yquem in front of me), the (good) Moscato d'Astis are an exception to my rule. Sweet in a smooth way, not cloyingly so. They go well both ends of the meal, as appetizers and/or dessert. I also like their low alcoholic level (always single digit). They are as ancient and as typical a product of Piemonte (land of the Barolos, Barbarescos and Barberas) as it gets. Noble flavors. And last but not least, totally disregarded by wine snobs.

            1. re: RicRios

              I love Italian sparkling muscats, but to me they're too sweet to serve with anything but dessert.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                They can be good with appropriate appetizers also, a nice way to kick off a meal as Md'Asti has a way of getting people in a social mood.

                1. re: Chicago Mike

                  What kind of appetizers do you think are appropriate? In my experience if some food comes out while I'm drinking sparkling moscato, I suddenly crave something drier.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    any apps with seafood, cream, pepper/heat, fruit will all do fairly fairly well with Moscato, IMO. It's also an excellent "social" drink to serve with little or nothing just to "get the party started"... because you'll always get oohs and ahhs about it and that puts people in a good frame of mind.

                    But also excellent dessert drink for similar reason... that it draws oohs and ahhs and people leave with a fond memory of the meal. Very good with fruit-anything desserts.

                    When you think about it, for the money you get as much bang for the buck from moscato d'asti as any other wine out there.

        2. Nicolas Feuillate Brut, about $27/bottle in NYC (which has higher taxes on alcohol than most states so I'm sure you could find it for less). Bought this for New Year's last year and we were all very pleasantly surprised that we liked it far better than some of the famous-name, much more expensive bubbly that some had bought.

          6 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            AGREED ON THE NICOLAS! Love it - and their Rose is yummy, too.

            1. re: JoanN

              another shout out for Feuillate--routinely $22 in NYC (Warehouse, Astor Wines) and it is blissfully dry--had some Veuve Clicquot last night at a party and I wished they had spent the money on almost twice as much Feuillate.

              My favorite prosecco this year, on the dry side (not as dry as NF Champagne): Mionetto Extra Dry Santo Stefano e San Pietro di Barbozza, $13 at PJWine. Mionetto makes a lot of different proseccos, this one was stellar.

              1. re: kenito799

                Only $22 at Warehouse?!? Worth the subway fare. Thanks.

              2. re: JoanN

                I strongly third the Nicolas Feuillate Brut recco. Lovely. Will have to try the rose.

                1. re: JoanN

                  Funny you should metion the Nicolas Feuillate Brut.

                  At this very moment I'm trying to decide which to give as gift:

                  Nicolas Feuillate Brut ($27)

                  OR

                  Royal Reserve Brut, Philipponnat NV ($29.99)

                  Any thoughts?

                  1. re: was_bk

                    Sorry, not familiar with the Royal Reserve.

                2. Domaine Carneros Brut 2003 $20, made by Taittinger in Napa Valley

                  1. Gruet New Mexico

                    Methode Champenoise, Brut, non-Vintage $15

                    Methode Champenoise, Blanc de Blancs $24

                    1. All three are by Gloria Ferrer:
                      Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee '97 at $23.99
                      Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs, NV at $12.99
                      Gloria Ferrer Sparkling Wine Brut, NV at $12.99

                      The two NV are currently on sale at Bevmore.com (club card discount). I'm hoping the 97 goes on sale so I can purchase a case of that, too.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: zack

                          <D'oh!> Yes, I meant "bevmo.com". Thanks for catching that.

                      1. I like the Anderson Valley Roederer Estate sparkling wine - $17.99 in various stores in Manhattan.

                        1. A little off-topic, but I thought I'd mention this in case you hadn't thought of it: this is the time of year (New Year's) that many wine stores have their sparkling wine tasting events. For example, Beverages and More's Northridge store is holding an event called "A Sparkling Toast to 2007!" on December 30. From their web page (http://www.bevmo.com/eventdetails.asp...):

                          "Called Champagne in France, Prosecco or Spumante in Italy, Cava in Spain, they come in a wide range of flavors, quality levels and prices. We've got a bevy of bubblies for you to try, including Piper Heidsieck Brut NV - 92PTS, Editor's Choice, Wine Spectator - a perfect wine to bring in the new year. Don't miss this one!"

                          I figured you might be able to try some of the recommendations from this discussion at a New Year's tasting event.

                          1. I would second these suggestions:
                            NV Gruet Brut ($13ish from New Mexico-it's damn good for the price)
                            NV Gruet Blanc de Blanc
                            NV Nicholas Feuillate Brut (most likely under $30)
                            NV Domaine Carneros

                            1. Piper Heidsick
                              R. Renaudin
                              Gruet
                              Nicolas Feuillate (especially the Rose')
                              Domaine Carneros

                              And for a real cheapie that is surprisingly nice, Trader Joe's has a very nice Prosecco for $7!!!!!!!!!!

                              1. NV Guet and Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs are my favorite value priced sparklers.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chickstein

                                  Gloria Ferrer Reserves Sparklers are excellent and affordable.

                                2. gruet rose is pretty righteous, too. gruet anything kicks a fair amount of ass for the price.
                                  antech carte noir blanquette de limoux
                                  nino franco prosecco 'rustico'-- one of the best proseccos out there, for not a lot of money.
                                  dom bourillons sparkling vouvray
                                  wegeler sekt sparkling riesling

                                  1. hello,speaking as one who enjoys the N.Feuillatte and the Schramsberg wines mentioned, here's another: Iron Horse Wedding Cuvee ('02 the vintage now sold for around $25, from Green Valley,Sonoma County), complex and friendly to a wide variety of foods. cheers

                                    1. I reviewed a few recently and liked these the most. I even went back and bought cases of the first two.

                                      Torley from Hungary is really good and around $10
                                      http://www.slashfood.com/2006/12/31/s...

                                      Marques de Gelida cava and especially the pinot noir/rose cava around $12-$15
                                      http://www.slashfood.com/2006/12/30/s...

                                      Jacob's Creek from Australia around $10-$12
                                      http://www.slashfood.com/2006/12/30/s...

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: JMF

                                        The Gelida Cava was fine but I find the bubbles on the big side in many cavas, including that one. For fine, creamy mousse-type bubbles you usually have to pay a bit more...which is why I really liked the prosecco I mentioned above, only $12.

                                      2. How about an 03 Amity pinot noir?

                                        1. louis bouillot sparkling burgundy

                                          1. S. Anderson at $26.00 a bottle..Anderson Valley, California. We shipped a case out to Philly for my neices wedding (of course, we said it was olive oil). ooops. Everyone LOVED it.