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There are so many good choices for a glass of sparking wine or bubbly at New Years you can hardly go wrong.

Most of us probably won’t be buying Dom Perginon, Krug, or Cristal for the New Year’s toast Wednesday night. But there is plenty of time to grab a bottle of sparkling wine in the $10-$20 range that you and your guests can enjoy.

new_years_toastMy first instinct is to always send people to Italy’s Prosecco. The northern Italian region of Prosecco produces some of the most drinkable bubbly in the world. I quick primer starts with location. The Prosecco region in in the far northeastern corner of the boot surrounding Venice. Glera is the main grape of Proseeco, a native grape dating back to the time of the Romans. There are up to seven other grapes often blended in up to 15 percent.

Prosecco is usually a straw-yellow sparkler with a floral nose, hints of apple and pear with modest alcohol. It drinks fresh, smooth and even elegant.

The Italian bubbly is also growing in popularity as a year round drink. U.S. Prosecco exports. Imports increased 27 percent to the states in the first quarter of this year.

thBut what should go looking for? If you want to try Prosecco start with the widely available Riondo Spago Nero. The wine is really easy to drink, 100 percent Glera, and a cool 10.5 percent alcohol. I’ve probably seen this bottle in more wine shops than any other Italian Prosecco.

Another I enjoyed just as much or more was the Astoria “Lounge” Prosecco, an extra dry sparkling wine. This had really powerful pear and rich apple flavor. It’s in a distinctive squat bottle and just 11 percent alcohol.

astoria_prosecco__33659.1389809720.1280.1280The suggested price on these two Prosecco wines is $14 for the Riondo and $11 for the Astoria. Both were trade samples.

Bolla_Sparkling-Rose-bottle-135x450Let’s stay in northern Italy but take a look at the Banfi’s Bolla Sparkling Rose’. There is nothing like sparkling Rose’ for a toast or to start your morning tour when visiting old Europe.

The Bolla is made of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Raboso. It’s very floral, more pronounced fruit and a delightful sipper. It’s another wine that’s really easy to find. The Bolla is also a modest 11 percent alcohol. It’s normally priced around $12-$14.

The great thing about these wines are their affordability and wonderfully light taste. Buy several and enjoy them throughout the year. Sparkling wine makes a great summer sipper.

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