Bubbles are a must for the holidays, and there are so many great variations out there that I’d like to highlight an entire category, not just one producer.
Champagne commands a certain price, and while it is the benchmark, there are appellations all over France that make great sparklers, but they cannot call it Champagne as they are not produced in that region. In France, any sparkling wine not from the Champagne region is called crémant, which, typically, is still brut in style but made from grapes native to that region. Loire Valley makes wonderful crémant from sauvignon blanc or chenin blanc, among others. Burgundy makes great blanc de blanc, and so on.
I highly recommend Saint Hilaire, a great brut crémant for under $20.
Kevin Castellano, an area wine and liquor expert. wayzatawineandspirits.com