Kitchn Love Letters

I Run a Wine Store and This Is the Budget-Friendly Bubbly I’m Stocking Up on Right Now

updated Dec 13, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

This is the point during the holiday season when I finally lean into the decadence of it all: pie for breakfast, all-day brunch (a personal fave), and dessert whenever. For those who drink, it’s also the best time of year for mimosas! But first, we’ll need the right sparkly base.  

The original mimosa recipe called for real Champagne. It was created back when Champagne wasn’t so eye-wateringly expensive, either in the 1920s or ’40s, depending on which story you believe. Even though I run a wine store, these days, I recommend using a more affordable sparkling wine.

To find the best bubbly for mimosas, I headed to my local grocery store and grabbed a bunch of inexpensive Prosecco, Cava, and domestic sparkling wine for an official taste test. I figured, if you’re hosting a holiday party, that’s likely where you’ll be shopping (and yes, I say that even as a wine shop owner!). While I was pleasantly surprised by a few, the winner was a $13 bottle of Prosecco.

What Makes Ca’ Furlan’s Cuvée Beatrice Prosecco So Great

There are three main criteria for sparkling wine when being used for mimosas: It should be affordable, marry well with fruit flavors, and taste good on its own (sometimes you just want to nix the juice). For me, Ca’ Furlan’s Cuvée Beatrice Prosecco checks all the boxes. It’s refreshing, but has plenty of the ripe, clear, juicy flavor that glera, the grape used to make Prosecco, is known for. The fizz is foamy and delicate, but persistent enough that it won’t get flat when mixed with fruit juice. 

The way Prosecco is made lends itself well to fruity cocktails. Wines made in the Champagne method do their secondary fermentation inside each individual bottle, essentially trapping the bubbles in the bottle. Then the newly fizzy wine ages on those dead yeast cells (this is called sur lie — it sounds less gross in French) for well over a year, giving Champagne and wines made in the Champagne method their signature toasty, yeasty aromas and flavors. These flavors are great when you’re sipping the drink by itself, but mixed with fruit juice, those nuances can get lost or, worse, clash.

Prosecco, however, is made in northeast Italy using a different method known as the Charmat-Method. First, a base wine that’s like regular table wine is made, just like in the Champagne method. But after that, the secondary fermentation is done in a large tank instead of each individual bottle, and the wine doesn’t spend time sitting on those dead yeast cells the way Champagne-method sparklers do. The result is a bubbly that’s all about bright, fresh, and clear fruit flavors. 

Even though traditionally mimosa recipes call for Champagne and Bellini recipes call for Prosecco, I think any fruit-based sparkling cocktail is better with a Charmat-Method sparkler like Prosecco — even if price is no object.

Consider an inexpensive bottle of Ca’ Furlan’s Cuvée Beatrice Prosecco my holiday gift to you — cheers!

Buy: Ca’ Furlan Cuvée Beatrice Prosecco, $12.99 for 750ml on Drizly

Do you have a favorite Prosecco? Tell us about it in the comments below!