Best Bubbles on Any Budget: Wine to End the Year With

Sarah Limacher

Wine Expert

End your year on a sparkling note and leave your go-to bottle of dry white on the shelf. Pour your way through the best bubbles to try before the year is out, which won’t be long once you get started…

winebucketImage via pinterest

The Locals

Dalzotto ‘Pucino’ Prosecco NV, Victoria – $19.90
Prosecco is delicious, affordable and provides great drinking and bang for your buck. The Dalzotto Family are about to celebrate 10 years of Prosecco production from their homebase of the King Valley in Victoria. True to style this great little drop is packed with pear drop, green apple and citrus flavours and a lovely fluffy texture. Bust out the Bocce and if you’re feeling in the mood blend with some white peach nectar for a delicious and refreshing bellini with breakfast (it’s got fruit in it so it counts!)

Swift NV Cuvee, Orange, New South Wales – $24.99
The Swift Family have been making fantastic wine under the Printhie label for a number of years, producing some of the great wines of the Orange region here in NSW, Here is a lovely and smart little sparkling made predominately from Pinot Noir. A nose packed with power and notes of wild strawberry and raspberry, lemon, biscuit and Jasmine. Elegant, structured and sexy like a supermodel on the palate. Great local drinking.

Clover Hill Tasmanian Cuvee NV, Tasmania – $33.99
Tasmanian Sparkling is world class, I spent some time down in Hobart recently and had one of the best tastings of my life checking out a whole host of Tassie bubbles. It’s hard to pick favourites but here’s one of my go-to drops from Tasmania – perfect for popping at any Christmas celebration. Chardonnay dominant, this wine is alive with flavour and freshness, lemon peel, peach kernel and white apricot flavours, making it refreshing and delicious. Make sure there is plenty to go round!

The Kiwi

Quartz Reef Methode Traditionnelle Vintage 2009, Central Otago, New Zealand – $39.99
This is always at our family table when we celebrate (which is most nights when I’m at home in NZ). It’s also a fave of my brother in law Davey who’s the Sommelier at my parents restaurant Ortega in Wellington. Quartz Reef and its winemaker Rudi Bauer are best known as world class Pinot producers but I love this sparkling and think his bubbles are just as good. Rudi calls it ‘Flirtatious and Moreish’ I have to agree with him. Great to get any party started.

The Sparkling Reds

Great at the Christmas dinner table, these are serious, delicious and most of all food friendly sparklers. An Aussie favourite.

Ulithorne ‘Flamma’ Sparkling Shiraz NV, McLaren South Australia – $59.50
I love Rose Kentish’s wines, and this fantastic sparkling Shiraz is no exception. Full of mocha, cocoa, clove and cinnamon spice, it’s an awesome addition to the Christmas day table, and goes fab with the Christmas pudding too. 

Chalmers Lambrusco 2012, Heathcote, Victoria – $43.00
I was lucky enough to recently have spent some quality time with the Chalmers family in beautiful Mildura, or ‘Mildy’ as they affectionately call it. What they have done for the industry pioneering alternative varieties is incredible. Before you go ‘Ugh Lambrusco’, let’s shake off our misconceptions. This is seriously tasty, dry, smart, and smile on your face Lambrusco. Only a small amount is made, and the handwritten bottle labels are made with love. It is delicious with cured meats, as an aperitif and Santa told me it’s what keeps Rudolph’s nose so red.

The Frenchies

Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque 2006, Epernay, France – $240.00
This wine is the epitome of elegance, it is a truly stunning Champagne, its dressed to impress in its Anemone adorn bottle and drinking it is a true joy, and that’s what Christmas is all about right? Joy! Purity and Elegance best describe its style, it’s pretty and complex with notes of lemon curd, biscuit dough, gardenia and yellow grapefruit.

Gosset Grande Rose NV, Ay, France – $99.99
Founded in 1584 Gosset still produces some of the finest Champagnes in the Champagne region. I love Rose champagne, it’s a perfect treat for the festive season. Match this with your seafood to start; freshly shelled prawns and scallops are great partners. If you haven’t finished it by the time the Ham hits the table, this will match beautifully. 

Egly – Ouriet ‘Les Vignes de Vrigny NV, Petite Montagne de Reims, France
You may not have heard of this superb Champagne, for great lovers and admirers of Champagne it is one to seek out, the quality is stunning and drinking it always leaves me a little speechless. This Champagne is somewhat of a rarity as it produced with 100% Pinot Meunier. Expect heady flavours of yellow plum, honey on toast, grilled almonds and marigold.

Merry Perry 

Eric Bordelet ‘Poire Granite’ Sparkling Perry 2013, Normandy, France – $43.99
My gorgeous friend gifted me a bottle of this for Christmas this year and I was an instant fan. Not a wine but a Perry! Perry is produced from fermented Pears, these special little pears come from organically managed 60ft tall 300 year old trees. This is more like drinking a wine and should be treated as such – it’s great as an alternative to sparkling wine with a meal, and lovely with cheeses. Perry Christmas!


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