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Consumer Reports reviews Sparkling Wines

December 31, 2012 2:55:25 PM PST
Looking for a festive drink to serve over the holidays? Champagne can fill the bill, but these "French" sparkling wines can be pricey.

Consumer Reports just looked at sparkling wines with and without the French pedigree to see if you can indulge without splurging at the register.

When it comes to sparkling wines, turns out there's cause for celebration.

Wine experts at Consumer Reports tested 11 sparkling wines costing anywhere from five to 37 dollars.

"If you want to find a good sparkling wine that's not that expensive, there are plenty of choices."

In fact, Consumer Reports says that when it comes to sparkling wine, a higher price doesn't necessarily mean higher quality.

Four of the wines tested including a $30 bottle of Piper Heidsieck, a French Champagne weren't even good enough to make Consumer Reports' initial cut.

"They were OK, but they had some off-notes, so we concentrated on some of the better wines in our tests," said Adam Kaplan.

After swirling, sniffing, and sipping , three were named Consumer Reports Best Buys.

Among them a Blanc de Noirs from Gloria Ferrer, a California Vintner. It was smooth, with hints of ripe fruit, and costs just $16 a bottle.

And for $14, a Gruet Blanc de Noirs from New Mexico rated even higher. It combines slightly yeasty flavors and a nice mix of tropical fruit, apple, and pear.

"For sparkling wines, which can be kind of expensive, these were a great combination of both price and quality," adds Kaplan.

So go ahead and enjoy some bubbly at your next dinner party.

When drinking a sparkling wine, Consumer Reports says to pay attention to how it feels in your mouth. Better quality sparkling wines will have nice, fine bubbles as opposed to the larger, course bubbles in seltzer water.

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