Holiday sparkle: Vidigal Espumante Branco 2007, Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee 2002, Two Hands Moscato

Vidigal white sparkling wine, 2007. ( Charles Fox / Staff Photographer )
Vidigal white sparkling wine, 2007. ( Charles Fox / Staff Photographer )
Posted: December 18, 2011

I have friends who fall all along the Champagne continuum in their tastes, from bone-dry "extra-brut" to sweet-tooth bottles just one step shy of soda pop. Each one of them, though, likes a fine sparkling value. So here are three available in Pennsylvania covering the full range to ring in the holidays at less than $20 a bottle.

For dry-wine lovers, turn to Portugal for this unusual sparkler from Vidigal, near Lisbon. Made from the arinto grape, a high-acidity white used in vinho verde, it rings with acidity and minerality on mid-sized bubbles, and is best suited to those who appreciate a more austere Euro approach.

The 2002 Royal Cuvée from Sonoma's Gloria Ferrer is the most versatile crowd-pleaser of the lot, with an ideal balance of toastiness and juicy clementine layered with pepper and anise on a nice dry finish.

The Brilliant Disguise moscato from Australia's Two Hands, meanwhile, might as well just be saved for dessert (or a happy nightcap.) Its bubbles are fine and soft, and the flavor is floral, honeyed, and lusciously exotic. A perfect first sip for a sweet New Year.

- Craig LaBan

Vidigal Espumante Branco 2007, $14.99 (code 22714); Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvee 2002, $17.99 (code 13474); Two Hands Brilliant Disguise Moscato 2008, 500 ml, $16.49 (code 10135)

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