Whether you’re hosting a lavish party or celebrating a night in, having a flute of bubbly in hand gives any occasion a certain panache. Don’t save these festive bottles for New Year’s Eve only – celebrate the holiday season with our roundup of 12 affordable champagnes and sparkling wines. Pair these with everything from casual snacks such as potato chips or popcorn to more traditional options such as freshly shucked oysters.
Steller’s Jay Sparkling Shiraz
A decidedly different sparkler, this vibrant violet-hued wine is made in the Okanagan Valley using the traditional French méthode classique. The shiraz base pairs perfectly with duck or roast turkey.
Gray Monk's Odyssey White Brut 2016
Cozy up next to the fire with some meltingly-good fondue and this bottle of bubbly from the one of the Okanagan Valley’s oldest wineries. A blend of pinot blanc, chardonnay and riesling keeps things light and refreshing.
Gray Monk’s Odyssey White Brut 2016, $25.99 from Gray Monk Estate Winery, private and government liquor stores and grocers in BC and Alberta.
Rosehall Run's Pixie
If you like rosé, this easy-drinking blend of vidal and a hint of pinot noir makes for a pretty punch of colour at the table. Made using the Charmat method, this wine from Prince Edward County unites fans of sparkling wine and rosé for a crowd-pleasing blend.
Rosehall Run’s Pixie, $19.99 from Rosehall Run Vineyards, online and through the LCBO.
Tawse's Spark Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling
This riesling-based sparkling from Niagara’s Tawse Winery works well with a festive fowl or two: roast chicken with lemon is an especially perfect pairing. Tawse uses certified biodynamic and organic methods to make their wines, adding an interesting story to share when you pour.
Tawse’s Spark Limestone Ridge Sparkling Riesling, $20.95 from Tawse Winery, LCBO Vintages and some farmers’ markets.
Flat Rock's Riddled Sparkling 2011
Don’t let the untraditional crown cap fool you: this wine is a traditionally made sparkler. This sparkling wine from Jordan, Ontario’s Flat Rock Cellars is made with 100 per cent chardonnay.
Flat Rock’s Riddled Sparkling 2011, $34.95 at the LCBO.
Benjamin Bridge's Nova 7 2017
A sweeter, but no less intriguing sparkling from Benjamin Bridge lets you transition from dinner to dessert with aplomb. The Nova 7 is made from an Annapolis Valley-grown blend of muscat varietals using a wild ferment method, bringing a taste of Nova Scotian terroir to your table.
Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7 2017, $24.95 from Benjamin Bridge Vineyards or through liquor stores across Canada.
Château des Charmes' Brut Sparkling
This refreshing sparkler is a fun pairing with late night popcorn, potato chips and Netflix – or an elegant welcome to hand to arriving guests. Niagara-on-the-Lake stalwart Château Des Charmes also offers a smaller mini bottle at the winery perfect for two (or a night where you’re looking for less commitment than a larger bottle).
Château des Charmes’ Brut Sparkling, $25.95 from the Château des Charmes winery, the LCBO or through liquor stores across Canada.
Megalomaniac's Bubblehead Sparkling Rosé
This wine is for the pinot lovers: made with 100 per cent pinot noir, the whimsically named Bubblehead is a fruity and festive way to add a splash of colour during dinner this holiday season. Pop open a bottle of this bright pink sparkling wine from Vineland, Ontario’s Megalomaniac Winery with seafood, sushi or even game meats, such as boar.
Megalomaniac Bubblehead Sparkling Rosé $34.95 at the Megalomaniac Winery and LCBO.
L’Acadie Vineyards' Vintage Cuvee Organic 2016
This organic sparkling wine from Annapolis Valley is marketed as vegan-friendly (the winemakers use bentonite rather than egg white, gelatine or casein found in some wines). Pair with some strawberries for a light and luxurious snack that’ll cut the richness of holiday feasts.
L’Acadie Vineyards’ Vintage Cuvee Organic 2016, $34.99 at the L’Acadie Vineyards winery, major NSLC and BC Liquor Stores.
Champagne Henriot's Blanc de Blancs Brut
Time for a taste of tradition: Champagne Henriot was established in 1808, and the Blanc de Blancs contains a small dose of the house’s prestigious Cuve 38 champagne in each bottle. A pretty pale gold, this champagne is a lovely way to begin an evening, along with a platter of smoked salmon.
Champagne Henriot’s Blanc de Blancs Brut, $79.99 in major liquor stores across Canada.
Veuve Clicquot's Yellow Label Brut
The yellow label will be familiar to many champagne drinkers, as Veuve Clicquot has been using the iconic marker since 1877 to distinguish its dry champagnes from the sweeter varieties. The versatility of this champagne can pair with many entrees and is particularly good with tagliatelle.
Veuve Clicquot’s Yellow Label Brut, $72.80 in major liquor stores across Canada.
Möet & Chandon's Brut Imperial
A platter of briny, freshly shucked oysters and a champagne redolent with white fruit flavours is a classic pairing for a reason. This flagship wine from the house of Möet & Chandon will bring an elegant touch to whatever the night may hold.
Möet & Chandon’s Brut Imperial, $67.65 in major liquor stores across Canada.
Leslie Wu is a Toronto-based food and travel writer, editor and explorer. Follow her on Twitter at @leslie_wu.