New Year's Eve is right around the corner and, if you're unlike the teetotalers of the world, you're probably in the market for a nice bottle of champagne with which to celebrate at the stroke of midnight. Nothing says "Happy New Year" like the popping of a cork, but are there any sparkling wines that are good and a good price? Find out in our video taste test!
Uh, OK... but seriously, according to a British study, in a blind taste-test of experts and novice drinkers alike, a £40 bottle of champagne was preferred over a £400 bottle of bubbles. In America, that means that a $65 bottle is your best bet. Not cheap, but as it's the one night of the year that many people will ever drink champagne, why sacrifice on taste.
Further supporting the theory that you don't have to spend a lot to enjoy some bubbly is a little thing called psychology. Professor Charles Spence, from the University of Oxford (classy, classy Oxford!), says, "If you know how much something costs, the psychology of that high cost seems to make things taste better." Psychologically, when we're told that something is expensive, we like it more. So, unless you're friends with wine-o-philes, just buy a cheap-o bottle and tell everyone it cost $100! Plus, no matter what they think they're drinking, everyone's still getting the same quality of hangover on January 1, anyway.
If $65 is still a little too rich for your blood, it doesn't mean you need to stay home and celebrate New Years looking for a higher-paying job. Instead, check out this article from 2012 in which The Huffington Post evaluated sparkling wines under $20. They swear you can get a tasty bottle for as low as $11.99! Keep in mind though that unlike, say, a printer (which has a strictly defined set of features that make one better than another) wine-tasting is based on an individual's taste buds, so "your mileage may vary" with any of these recommendations.
One last thing to consider: If you're just going to use it as a "celebratory bottle" that you spray all over your guests while shouting "woo" and "New Years!" (right before you pass out), then any price point of suds will do; all champagne stings equally when poured into your eyes.
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