Continuing advice to frantic families planning weddings, also for those working on parties without the sturm and drang of nuptial-addled bridezillas.
Champagne is sparkling wine made in Champagne region of France. Pour real Champagne at your wedding or big party, it will cost you $40-plus a bottle.
Sniff smelling salts; recover from sticker shock. There are good sparkling wines that go by different names and for much lower prices.
Cava from Spain. Spanish winemakers employ cutting-edge inventions to produce methode champenoise at significantly lower prices.
Asti and Prosecco from Italy. Asti comes from region around town of Asti in northwestern Italy; Prosecco is made with Prosecco grape in region near Venice in northeastern Italy.
Cremant is name for sparkling wines made in France outside Champagne region.
Cap Classique is name for sparklings made in South Africa.
American sparklings usually are called sparkling wines, although some makers cheat and incorrectly call them Champagne. New Mexico makes a very good sparkling: Gruet.
All these offer a sparkling upgrade over Andre or other cheap carbonated white wine. Get good value for as little as $9 and very nice for $14-$25.
Added bonus: instead of usual five pours per bottle, because it is poured in smaller glasses and is bubbly, you can get as many as eight pours per bottle with sparkling.
If you are going to do one wine special at your wedding, do bubbly. Your party will drink the least amount of it and almost everyone will taste it.
• Freixenet. Spanish cava, one of world’s best selling sparkling wines. $9
• Domaine Colin Brut Cremant Red. French sparkling not made in Champagne region. $14
• Graham Beck Brut. South Africa shines. $17
• Gloria Ferrer Brut Royal Cuvee. Cherry, vanilla, California. $24
• Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Yellow Label Champagne. The real thing. $56