The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

We tasted over 100 wines to find the best sparkling wines under $15 for every occasion. You'll be so surprised that these 5 wines are so inexpensive, you'll want to do a toast to good cheap wines at your cocktail or holiday party, wedding reception or over dessert!
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We tasted over 100 wines to find the best sparkling wines under $15 for every occasion. You'll be so surprised that these 5 wines are so inexpensive, you'll want to do a toast to good cheap wines at your cocktail or holiday party, wedding reception or over dessert!

The 5 Best Bargain Bubblies

We sipped 100(!) sparkling wines -- all $15* or less -- to pick the best for every holiday occasion. These 5 picks bubbled to the top of our list.

*All product names and prices accurate at time of print in the December 2012 issue.

The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

The Best for Toasting

A balance of fruity yet crisp flavors makes this Spanish sparkler, Freixenet Cava Carta Nevada Semi Dry ($9), perfect for enjoying on its own. Crafted from a blend of three grape varieties and aged for up to nine months, it's not too sweet and not too dry. "Toasty -- with touches of apple and peach!" said one satisfied sipper.

The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

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The Best For Cocktails

With subtle nectarine notes and a clean, lemony finish, this dry white Italian prosecco, Cupcake Vineyards Prosecco D.O.C. ($14), is ideal for sparkling up cocktails! Think mimosas (half bubbly, half OJ), or pour it into a punch bowl with cranberry juice and brandy. Cheers!

The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

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Best With Hors D'oeuvres

Made with muscat grapes, this refreshing pink wine, Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato California Champagne ($10), has peach, honey and citrus accents, and a light sweetness that pairs pleasingly with salty appetizers. "It reminds me of cotton candy, in the best way!" praised one taster.

The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

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Best With Dinner

This Australian-made wine, Yellow Tail Bubbles Rose ($10), impressed the entire panel. Dry but with a fresh strawberry-cherry flavor, it stands up to rich foods such as ham, duck and salmon.

The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

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Best For Dessert

Cap off your night with this sweet Italian sparkler, Cinzano Asti D.O.C.G. ($13). It has "a ripe apricot taste," said one drinker. "Mmm...it smells like honey and flowers," commented another. Its slight tartness cuts through creamy cheeses, cakes and even chocolate.

The Best Sparkling Wines under $15

Buy the wine!

3 Tips on Bubbly Basics

Shop -- and sip -- smarter with our cheat sheet!

1. COUNTRY: Sparkling wines come from all over the world. Champagne is French, cava is Spanish and prosecco is Italian. And American bubblies? They're simply called sparkling wines.

2. COLOR: Sparklers range from almost clear to deep pink hues. To infuse the booze with color, winemakers can blend a small amount of red wine into white wine, or make the bubbly from red grapes, whose skins tint the wine.

3. FLAVOR: Dry (aka not sweet) bubblies may be labeled "brut" or "extra brut." As the sweetness increases, you'll see terms like "demi-sec" or "semi-dry."

How to Throw a Champagne Cocktail Party

You don't have to wait until New Year's Eve to bust out the bubbly! Build a cocktail party around bubbles and bubbly, and conversation won't be the only thing that sparkles.

pink party table

Click here to go to How to Throw a Champagne Cocktail Party

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