Sekt Is the Wine of 2022

Scan the sparkling wine list at any restaurant and you’ll see a few familiar names: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava. But you probably won’t find one of Europe’s lesser known, food-friendly, and affordably-priced wines: Sekt, a sparkling wine from Germany and…

Scan the sparkling wine list at any restaurant and you’ll see a few familiar names: Champagne, Prosecco, Cava. But you probably won’t find one of Europe’s lesser known, food-friendly, and affordably-priced wines: Sekt, a sparkling wine from Germany and Austria.

Though it may not be there yet, Sekt should be one of the first wines that comes to mind when you’re planning any cheers-worthy activity. As the weather warms up, Sekt—with its enormous range of styles and price points—is versatile enough to suit everything from a birthday brunch to a wedding toast. While Sekt hasn’t been widely exported outside Germany and Austria in the past, it’s increasingly making its way to wine shops around the world, and its under-the-radar profile means that hype hasn’t yet inflated its price.

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Dry Lambrusco Is Delicious—Why Is It Also So Hard To Find?

I can pinpoint the only moment I’ve ever felt cool in the presence of a bartender: It was early summer 2018 at a casual yet self-serious bar in my native Chicago, and I ordered a dry Lambrusco. “I love Lambrusco,” he said, affirming my early-adopter st…

I can pinpoint the only moment I’ve ever felt cool in the presence of a bartender: It was early summer 2018 at a casual yet self-serious bar in my native Chicago, and I ordered a dry Lambrusco. “I love Lambrusco,” he said, affirming my early-adopter status for the first and last time. “I want to get everyone drinking it.” 

A far cry from the cloying, bulk-produced juice that dominated the category in the 1970s and ’80s, the new guard of Lambrusco from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region represents everything I like in a wine: A chilled, low-ABV red with a gentle, prickly fizz, it’s equal parts no-brainer and deserving of deep contemplation. It’s low intervention and artisanally made, and almost always under $20 a bottle. It’s delicious with pizza, cured snacks, and richly sauced pastas—or all by itself at 5 in the afternoon. It’s also still irritatingly hard to find.

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How to Store Champagne & Sparkling Wines for Bottomless Bubbly

It’s no secret that we love Champagne. We’ve talked about the best way to go about opening a bottle of Champagne safely and how to keep the bubbles fizzy for days once you have opened it. We’ve even shared more than a dozen of our favorite Champagne co…

It’s no secret that we love Champagne. We’ve talked about the best way to go about opening a bottle of Champagne safely and how to keep the bubbles fizzy for days once you have opened it. We've even shared more than a dozen of our favorite Champagne cocktail recipes. But the most important question of all is: How the heck do you store Champagne?

Listen, I know Champagne is expensive (even though it doesn’t always have to be), and you may be holding on to a special bottle of Veuve Clicquot or a celebratory vintage for a momentous occasion. When storing Champagne, you want to first and foremost prevent the bottle from breaking haphazardly while also keeping the cork moist and protecting the good stuff on the inside.

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This Champagne House Vintner Is Going All Organic—& That’s a Big Deal

You don’t need to ever convince me to drink champagne. But if there’s one time when the rest of the world also comes aboard the bubbly boat, it’s the week of New Year’s Eve. One champagne house is trying to change how the world consumes champagne on a …

You don’t need to ever convince me to drink champagne. But if there’s one time when the rest of the world also comes aboard the bubbly boat, it’s the week of New Year’s Eve. One champagne house is trying to change how the world consumes champagne on a regular basis. Champagne Telmont, a house that dates back to 1912, is in the process of fully converting their agricultural processes to be 100 percent certified organic. “It’s a big, big bold commitment,” says Ludovic du Plessis, president of Telmont Champagne. For champagne to be certified organic, the grapes must be harvested without the use of any forms of herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, an extremely strict standard in the wine world. In general, du Plessis says that the champagne industry is largely a sustainable one. But only three percent of the world’s supply of champagne is certified organic.

That is largely due in part because it is not cheap nor easy. The process for becoming certified organic doesn’t happen overnight. It was a decade-long process for Telmont, who received its first certification for certain sections of the house’s vineyard in 2017. Currently, 49 percent of Telmont’s total cultivated areas, which is made up of nearly 200 acres, are certified organic or are currently in conversion. The entire house does not anticipate being able to receive organic certification until 2025.

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The Best Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Wine for Holiday Toasts

When I first quit drinking alcohol, the only thing about it that I feared I would miss were champagne toasts. I associate sparkling wine with Christmas, when my mother usually hosts a huge, festive feast. For years, one of my jobs as her co-host has be…

When I first quit drinking alcohol, the only thing about it that I feared I would miss were champagne toasts. I associate sparkling wine with Christmas, when my mother usually hosts a huge, festive feast. For years, one of my jobs as her co-host has been to make sure everyone got a glass of champagne as soon as they walked in the door, which meant I spent at least half an hour watching the animated bokeh effect of the bubbles as I made sure the red and clear Waterford cut crystal champagne flutes she uses only once a year didn’t overflow.

As Christmas rolled around the first year that I didn’t drink, nearly a decade ago now, I replaced champagne with sparkling cranberry cider, but it wasn’t the same. Even though I didn’t miss the effects of alcohol, I missed the taste and the fine, tickling bubbles of a decent sparkling wine. Luckily, non-alcoholic sparkling wine making has come a long way in the past ten years, and bubblies without the buzz have improved tremendously. Recently, I had the delightful task of tasting and reviewing over seventeen offerings that are available now for your holiday parties, New Year’s toasts, or whatever you might be celebrating all year long! Here are my recommendations:

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How to Recork Champagne for Long-Lasting Bubbles

I come to you today to tell you about something magical—a foolproof trick that will teach you how to recork champagne and store it for days. I find this magical for several reasons, the first and foremost being that it has to do with Champagne&md…

I come to you today to tell you about something magical—a foolproof trick that will teach you how to recork champagne and store it for days. I find this magical for several reasons, the first and foremost being that it has to do with Champagne—or really, any sparkling wine at all. And, anything having to do with sparkling wine I find naturally has a certain allure and sophistication. It is immediately something I want to know about because sparkling wine—in any guise, be it a flute, a coupe, a cocktail, a spritz—is one of my very favorite things to drink.  

Champagne is second only to water and coffee, which I guess technically makes it third. But it's first in my heart, even if it's third in the pecking order of necessity for functioning. Along with all other sane people, I turn toward a regular rotation of Aperol spritzes and sparkling rosé during the stretches of summer that are the most sun-soaked and Mediterranean.

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A Festive New Year’s Eve at Home Calls for Oysters & Sparkling Wine

​​We’ve teamed up with Chandon, an exceptional sparkling winery, to share our favorite combo for a sparkling night in: fresh, bay-grown oysters and Chandon By The Bay Reserve Blanc de Blancs, a bubbly, fruit-forward ode to Chardonnay. Whether you’re ce…

​​We've teamed up with Chandon, an exceptional sparkling winery, to share our favorite combo for a sparkling night in: fresh, bay-grown oysters and Chandon By The Bay Reserve Blanc de Blancs, a bubbly, fruit-forward ode to Chardonnay. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or hosting a festive get-together, this gourmet offering serves up a classic pairing—including a bottle of Chandon By The Bay, hot sauce, and sharp shrubs—delivered to your door with our limited-edition A Taste of the Bay kit (all you need to do is add the oysters).


During the holiday season, I can’t get enough of the cozy twinkling lights adorning every structure in sight, get-togethers with family and friends, and all the holiday cookies—until New Year’s Eve rolls around. That is when my seasonal cheer starts to run short. From crowded parties to meager potlucks (anyone else been there?), not to mention futile attempts to hail a cab on a frigid night, the bar is simply too high for December 31.

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Yes, There Are Sparkling Red Wines That Taste Good

When I was in college I had a roommate whom I loved dearly, but who had incredibly different taste from me. I whipped cream by hand while she bought a tub of Cool Whip. I drank red wine while she drank fruity vodka concoctions whose names shouldn&rsquo…

When I was in college I had a roommate whom I loved dearly, but who had incredibly different taste from me. I whipped cream by hand while she bought a tub of Cool Whip. I drank red wine while she drank fruity vodka concoctions whose names shouldn’t be repeated in polite company.  

So, when one day she brought home a bottle of sparkling red wine that she was over the moon about, I was skeptical. Plus, red wine isn’t supposed to be fizzy, right?  

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Apple Cider Mimosas

This may be a no-brainer for my cocktail aficionado friends, but for those who aren’t naturally cocktail savvy, allow me to present these Apple Cider Mimosas, which are the perfect simple daytime cocktail for Thanksgiving.

The post Apple Cider Mimosas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This may be a no-brainer for my cocktail aficionado friends, but for those who aren’t naturally cocktail savvy, allow me to present these Apple Cider Mimosas, which are the perfect, simple daytime cocktail for Thanksgiving. Chances are you have some apple cider on hand (especially if you’re making my Cider Roasted Turkey Breast), and maybe some fresh rosemary, so just pick up a bottle of sparkling wine and you’re in business! 🥂

three apple cider mimosas with apples and a bottle of wine in the back

What Kind of Sparkline Wine Should I Use?

While you can use just about any sparkling wine that you have available, I prefer a dry or brut sparkling wine because apple cider is already extremely sweet. Since apple cider also has quite a powerful flavor, it can also help mask subtle flavor differences in your wine. In other words, you don’t have to buy anything super high quality. ;) I just used a $7.49 bottle of Tourner brut sparkling wine from ALDI. And if all the varieties of sparkling wines confuse the heck out of you, this article about Champagne vs. Prosecco is a great place to start.

Sparkling wine being poured into a flute with cider

What Kind of Cider Should I Use?

Again, this drink is extremely flexible. I used an inexpensive cider, but I think it would be really fun to use a fresh local cider if that’s something that is available in your area. You can also experiment with steeping the cider in some mulling spices, then chilling it before making the mimosas.

Make Your Own Mix

I kept the formula simple, with a 50/50 ratio of cider to wine, but as any mimosa drinker knows, you can tweak that to be any ratio that you like. Want a full glass of sparkling wine with just a splash of cider? Go for it! Want mostly cider with just a tickle of bubbles? You got it! This drink requires no expertise, no skill, just pour and drink. ;)

one apple cider mimosa held close to the camera
sparkling wine being poured into a champagne flute in a group of three flutes

Apple Cider Mimosas

Just two simple ingredients and one optional fresh garnish make these Apple Cider Mimosas the easiest holiday cocktail around.
Total Cost $1.46 each
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 145.2kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. apple cider $0.18
  • 4 oz. sparkling wine $1.18
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional garnish) $0.10

Instructions

  • Make sure the cider and sparkling wine are chilled. Pour four ounces (½ cup) cider into a champagne flute, followed by 4 ounces (½ cup) sparkling wine. Top with a sprig of fresh rosemary as a garnish, then serve and enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1drink | Calories: 145.2kcal | Carbohydrates: 17.5g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 5mg | Fiber: 0.3g
sparkling wine being poured into a champagne flute in a group of three flutes

The post Apple Cider Mimosas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

19 Prosecco Cocktails for When You Need a Lil’ Bubbly

The other day, my friend texted me with what should have been an easy question for a bubbly-drink lover like myself: “I just bought a bottle of Prosecco. What cocktail should I make?”

Had she asked me a few months ago, the answer would have been reall…

The other day, my friend texted me with what should have been an easy question for a bubbly-drink lover like myself: "I just bought a bottle of Prosecco. What cocktail should I make?"

Had she asked me a few months ago, the answer would have been really obvious. An Aperol Spritz! May through September, the bright orange, just-boozy-enough crowd-pleaser is my pick whenever the occasion calls for bubbles (I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t love the drink). But there’s something that just feels off about toasting with a summer-weather refresher when the temperatures are starting to drop.

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