Who doesn’t love Champagne? Not only is it often the signal of a great time, or a significant celebration, but it goes down so well, bubbles and all.

We’d all love to drink it every day, but most of us don’t have that sort of budget – a decent starter (as it were) Champagne is around $45 and so we need to rein the spending in somewhat. The good news is that Champers (as the Brits have it) isn’t the only fizz in town and many of the alternatives have all the bubbles with a cheaper price tag.

Look elsewhere in France

Champagne is the region name for the drink, not the drink itself, so if you look for sparkling wines made in other regions in France, you’ll do just fine. A lot of these wines use the same grape and the same method, but they just have a slightly different terroir. No biggie. Just look for a Mousseux or a Crémant and you’ll be fine.

Look elsewhere in Europe

Almost all of us have heard of Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. There are many popular varieties and most will cost less than $15.00 or $20.00. There’s also Espumoso, a lesser-known fizz, and if you’re lucky enough to find some, give it a whirl.

You’d hardly associate Germany and Austria with bubbly, as we tend to think of sweet whites here, but both nations do a fine line in Sekt. Germany, in fact, has the highest annual consumption of fizz in the world, at five litres per head!

Then of course there’s Prosecco

Italy’s Prosecco has gained a huge following in recent years, and small wonder, as it’s amazing. However, if you’re looking for an alternative to Champagne and you’re a purist (or you’re entertaining one), then you should be aware that this wine, alongside its compatriot Asti Spumante, is made by the Charmat method rather than the classic method. If you need to up your game, opt for a Franciacorta instead.


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