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Five Ways You Can Toast To Joy

Updated: Apr 29

Have a joyful moment coming up or want to create one? Step into the vibrant world of sparkling wines, where the bubbles dance, and the flavors sing! While Champagne often steals the spotlight, a dazzling array of sparkling wines, each with its tale of tradition and taste, are waiting to be discovered.

Cremant de Loire

Let’s embark on a fizzy journey, starting with the charming Cremant de Loire. Crafted with care using the same methods as Champagne, this bubbly gem is a symphony of bubbles, boasting notes of toasted nuts and an irresistible finish. La Pierre Couverte cuvée is like a hidden treasure, offering top-tier quality without breaking the bank. Picture a pale lemon hue with a cascade of delicate bubbles.

Clean, precise, and well-focused on entry, the mouthfeel is refreshing at the core but pleasantly softened at the edges. A lemony freshness, notes of minerality, and a hint of toastiness complement tree-fruit flavors. This Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay blend is a steal at around $25 with flavors ranging from crisp apples to hints of biscuity goodness.

Crémant de Limoux

Venture further to the historic town of Limoux, where sparkling wine has been perfected since 1531 before Dom Perignon even popped his first cork! Crémant de Limoux, often overlooked but not to be underestimated, shines brightly with its creamy mousse and luscious red fruit flavors. Aged in neutral barrels and finally conditioned for 15 months en tirage, the traditional method allows the mousse to develop fully in the bottle.

The result is festive, food-friendly, and infinitely crushable. Bright, chipper, and celebratory, with a lively platinum core. The aromas are led by Amalfi lemon zest and plenty of mandarin blossom and crushed limestone. The mouthfeel is vibrant and playful, with a mouthwatering electric crispness. Made with a blend of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Noir, this bubbly delight is aged to perfection, delivering pure joy in every sip.


Crossing borders into Franciacorta, Italy, we find a sparkling sensation at the foot of the Alps. Franciacorta is a small appellation nestled in the foot of the Alps in the region of Lombardy, 70km east of Milan. This area of northern Italy is considered one of the best resources for quality, traditional-method sparkling wines. Franciacorta has been making sparkling wine since the 16th century.

Barone Pizzini Franciacorta, crafted with certified organic methods, exudes elegance and finesse. With ripe peaches and delicate floral aromas, Primary aromas of peaches and nectarines are present alongside candied citrus fruits and well-defined blossomy and floral notes, balanced with classic brioches, toasted walnuts, almonds, and honey, this gem offers Italian luxury for under $40.


Back in the USA, Oregon’s Stoller winery enchants with its picturesque vineyards. Stoller boasts one of the USA’s most beautiful tasting rooms, overlooking the rolling hills of Dayton, Oregon. They produce a full line of exquisite Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and specialty Muscat and Riesling. But, my favorite offering is their exceptional Brut Rosé. Made with Pinot Meunier and aged to perfection, this pale strawberry delight is a glass celebration, bursting with cranberry, rhubarb, and wild strawberry flavors. Perfect for any occasion, it is priced around $70.


Our journey concludes in Penedès, Spain, where the art of Cava-making has been passed down through generations. Cava is a Spanish wine made using the traditional method, just like champagne. In Penedes, Spain, the three classic grapes used to channel the elegance from the storied terroir of Penedès: Xarel-lo brings the fine-boned acidic structure; Macabeo boosts the crisp, floral core; and Parellada lends a weightless levity and green-apple bite.

Masia Salat Organic Cava, a testament to tradition and quality, delights with its vibrant mousse and lively bouquet. Made with a blend of classic Spanish grapes, this golden sparkler offers a taste of Mediterranean magic at an unbeatable price of under $30.

In summary, while true Champagne is beautiful and provides dozens of options and price points, not every joyful occasion warrants a $200 bottle. So, whether you’re toasting a memorable moment or simply savoring life’s little pleasures, there’s a sparkling wine to suit every palate and budget. Explore, discover, and raise a glass to the endless joy found in every bubble.

For more clues and ideas on curating wine with a professional wine-tasting-sommelier, visit my site at Cheers!

Michael Perman shares options to Champagne that are fun, sparkling and less expensive
Toast with sparkling bubbly wines

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