Nothing says celebration like the pop of a champagne cork. It's a New Year's Eve tradition and, recently, we were lucky enough to taste a wide range of sparkling wines, from budget-conscious Spanish Cava to budget-busting French champagne. Here they are, listed by price:
Segura Viudas Brut Reserva, $9.99
You will not find a better buy in Boise than this Spanish blend. It costs less than 10 bucks for a magnum (1.5 liters). Made using the traditional champagne method, it spends three years in the bottle, which is unheard for a sparkler at this price. This bubbly offers lovely floral notes, with rich fruit flavors and a creamy texture that plays against lively crispness.
Taltarni Brut Tache, $18.99
From Australia, this is a classic blend of champagne grapes kissed with a touch of shiraz to add color; tache means "stained." It's marked by persistent pinpoint bubbles with soft aromas of strawberry and yeasty bread dough. Ripe raspberry flavors are balanced by bright acidity and backed by hints of apple, citrus and rhubarb. This is a very good value.
Taittinger Prestige Rose, $69
This true French champagne is elegant and refined, with an almost iridescent pink color and lively tart cherry and green apple aromas. An explosion of finely textured bubbles goes on and on, releasing flavors of sweet citrus and soft berry, with a touch of candied lemon zest on the finish. Splurge if you can.
Krug Brut Grande Cuvee, $215
From one of the top names in champagne and priced accordingly. Heady aromas of dark berry, toast, creme brulee and Spanish almonds open this Energizer bunny of tiny bubbles. With sublime flavors of ripe apple and fresh baked sour dough up front, sweet brioche plays against bright citrus on the finish.