Whether you’re buying for your in-laws, your boss or your favorite hostess with the mostest, nothing says holidays like a bottle of sparkling wine. But as fun and elegant as bubblies are, an entire aisle of effervescent extravagance can make your head spin before taking a sip. Our overview — hitting the basics of the three most popular picks — takes the work out of choosing the right type so you can get back to what’s important: gifting, and sipping, them.
The region: Conegliano, Valdobbiadene, Italy
The grape: Glera
Tasting notes and fizz factor: Landing on the sweeter side of sparkling wines, Proseccos boast large bubbles and fresh flavors like pear, apple, honey and melon.
Price range: $12-$15
You’re gifting it to: A co-worker or party host who might open it mid-bash or toss it into cocktails.
The region: Catalonia, Spain
The grapes: Mostly Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada
Tasting notes and fizz factor: Like many Spanish whites, Cava offers floral, citric and fruity notes while maintaining the dryness, complexity and smaller bubbles more akin to Champagne.
Price range: $12-$20
You’re gifting it to: Someone who knows wine but wouldn’t expect you to break the bank.
The region: Champagne, France
The grapes: Chardonnay, Pinor Noir and Pinot Meunier
Tasting notes and fizz factor: The king of sparkling wines, Champagne is extremely versatile and full of finesse — from the fine bubbles to the almond, toasty and even mineral notes.
Price range: $30 and up
You’re gifting it to: A wine aficionado or someone you want to impress.