Nothing says “celebrate!” quite like a bottle of sparkling wine or Champagne. It’s light and refreshing enough to be served on its own but pairs well with party foods galore. Plus, the sound of a cork popping triggers an uncontrollable reflex within me to toast a holiday/marriage/baby/Tuesday night, and probably ugly cry some tears of joy, too. There’s just something about those beautiful little bubbles.
But there’s one thing that deters many of us from popping a bottle of bubbly over regular red or white: the price.
Because sparkling is the go-to style of wine for celebrating, it’s easy to think that the cost has to match the occasion (i.e. big bucks). Worse, many assume that affordable styles of sparkling wine will give you an aching migraine. Sure, there are plenty of pricey bottles of sparkling wine out there, but according to Rachael Lowe, the beverage director at Spiaggia and Maddon’s Post in Chicago, this is a very short-sighted assumption. Rachael says sparkling wine deserves a spot at every wine-centric dinner, and that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to taste like a million bucks. “Sparkling wine isn’t something that just needs to be for special occasions—it can be great as a pairing as well. Start your meal off with bubbles before you move from lighter whites to fuller reds.”