Finding a good-quality bottle of champagne at a great price can be a sweet way to ring in the new year. First, consumers should know what “champagne” really means.

Finding a good-quality bottle of champagne at a great price can be a sweet way to ring in the new year.


First, consumers should know what “champagne” really means.


Champagne is a type of sparkling wine. Sparkling wines are fermented – usually inside the bottle – which creates the fizzy bubbles.


“There’s a reason champagne is expensive,” said Dan Weiner, owner of The Weinery in North Scituate,  Mass. “It’s because of where it’s from and its pedigree, and also how it’s made.”


In order to be called champagne, the beverage must be made in the province of Champagne in northeast France.


True champagne can be expensive – a bottle of Dom Perignon starts at about $120 – but Weiner says Prosecco, an Italian sparkling wine, has become popular because it retails for $15 and up and tastes good.


“The economy is really dictating (popularity) right now,” he said. “Champagne is not in demand. Prosecco is really taking over.”


He said another sparkling wine that rivals champagne is Cava, made in Spain. It ranges from $12 to $35.


Weiner advises consumers who want to avoid headaches not to purchase sparkling wines that sell for as little as $3. They have been injected with carbon dioxide – nearly the same way Coca-Cola gets its carbonation, he said.


Ultimately, choosing which bottle to pop on New Year’s Eve depends on personal preference, said Bruce Field, events coordinator at Bin Ends in Braintree, Mass., which sells overstock wines at a discount.


He recommends Gardet champagne, which sells for about $43, or Italian Riunite Lambrusco sparkling wine, which costs about $14.


His personal favorite is the Blanquette de Limoux, which sells for $12.


“It’s a wonderful sparkling wine, it tastes like champagne, but in some ways I like it better,” Field said. “It’s got fine little bubbles that dance across your tongue, a ripe pear flavor, a little hint of vanilla. It’s very interesting and a lot of fun.”


Reach Patriot Ledger writer Sara Castellanos at scastell@ledger.com.