Bubbles on a budget

By Allison Murphy McKinley, special collaboration

Mother's Day table

In life, one will always find a reason to celebrate: a newborn in the family, a major accomplishment, or special moments such as Valentine’s Day. However, not everyone has the budget for a high-priced bottle of Champagne.

Fortunately, there are some incredible sparkling wines out there that are not only very affordable but also delicious. Here are some great ideas to maybe suprise your mom on Mother’s Day, or put a sophisticated spin on a evening with friends this weekend!

Table setting

Crement d’Alsace
The first one I would like to highlight is the Crement d’Alsace – Pierre Sparr Brut reserve that you can find for $17.95 at the LCBO. This one is one of my favourite. For the price, you really can’t beat the quality and complexity.

With aromas like brioche, citrus, lemon, and sweet taste of green apple as well as wonderful minerality creates a delicate balance on the pallet. This wine has very light bubbles, crisp, refined. It is a fantastic wine to pair with oysters, lobster, shrimp, and smoked salmon. Potato chips are also a great match, perhaps not as romantic, but deliciously real.

Wine Tasting

Cremant is produced in the provinces of Alsace, Die, Jura, Bourgogne (Burgundy), Loire, Limoux,  and Bordeaux, as well as Luxembourg. All appellations offer their own ‘terroir’, but also add other varietals unique to the area such as chardonnay, riesling or muscat.

Cava Segura Viudas Reserva
This wine is also a very good one. At $13.95 you can’t get better for the price! If you like aromas of grapefruit and lemon, this wine is for you. You can also taste some notes of pear, anise and citrus which makes it a good wine for most seafood, just like the Cremant. It would also be a great side to a plate of light cheese.

The word Cava means cellar and is produced in Spain, mostly in Catalonia, Valencia, Aragon, Navarra, Rioja and the Basque

Wine casting 2Villa Sandi Prosecco
Although refreshingly drinkable, this Prosecco lacks the complexity of the Cava and Cremant. As the price is the same to the Cava, I would recommend opting for the latter instead of this Prosecco.This wine offers some aroma of citrus, more specifically lemon and grapefruit. It is Italy’s carbonated answer to sparkling wine. Prosecco is very dry and neutral in taste before it’s (vinified). To correct this, the wine maker adds a lot of sugar and carbonation. In return, the sugar and the spumante process creates big drinkable bubbles.

I would recommend serving the Prosecco with a light mousse or not overly sweet dessert. It’s also a nice choice as an aperitif or for a brunch celebration in a mimosa.


Infused mineral water
Folks who don’t drink like to celebrate love too! So try mixing mineral water, frozen black berries/blueberries/raspberries, lemon/lime/orange zest and juice. Add your favourite herb for some added flavour – I like basil or mint! This option is the most budget friendly too.

The next time you have a special occasion, know that you have options and that you can find delicious sparkling wines in any price range. So cheers to that!

Allison Murphy McKinley is a hairstylist in Ottawa and owner of Salon My Place. Her studio is conveniently located in Westboro and offers an intimate environment with two talented stylists that give everything to their craft. To know more, please visit the Salon My Place website or their Page. P.S : They also serve delicious wine and love talking about it!

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