Splits are convenient, cute and costly—so if one glass is not enough, stick with the 750ml.
Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial
France, $15, 187ml
For $15 you only get 6 ounces, but even at this price, Moet & Chandon (pronounced “moh/eht a shah/doh”) is the leading brand of French Champagne worldwide. Blended from more than 100 different wines, it offers a nose of intense green apple and citrus fruit notes with flavors of pear, peach and apple. And bubbles: remember, the more bubbles, the better the Champagne.
California, $5.50, 187ml
This is the best- selling sparkler in the U.S. Like all good sparkling wines, it employs the Methode Champenoise, which means fermenting in the bottle. Good with Asian dishes, chicken, seafood, fruit and mild cheeses. Chenin Blanc and French Colombard grapes are added to the usual Chardonnay/Pinot Noir formula for more balance.
Mumm Napa Brut Prestige
California, $6, 187ml
This French Champagne house operates a vineyard in Napa Valley and combines the best grapes from Napa with time-honored French wine-making techniques. 12.5 percent alcohol. Nice fruity aroma with an acidic bite, but still food-friendly like all good sparkling wines.
Pol Clement Brut Blanc de Blancs
France, $5, 187ml
On the label it says “Vin Mousseux,” which is a sparkling wine from France, but not from the Champagne region, and thus cannot be called a true Champagne. Blanc de Blancs means all white grapes, which is preferred by some purists. With 10.5 percent alcohol, it offers flavors of apple and pear and pairs with most foods. Crisp and refreshing, with a medium body.
Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut
Spain, $3, 187ml
Cava is Spanish sparkling wine, and the Freixenet (pronounced “fresh-eh-net”) label was founded in 1861. The distinctive black bottle helps make it the No. 1 imported sparkling wine. Wine Spectator said in the April issue, “Tangy, with a lively bead and hints of apple blossom, Gala apple, pineapple and ground ginger.”
Photographs courtesy of the respective wineries and Peter Maxwell