Whether you’re smooching under the glowing purple lights of a party bus or simply curled up on your couch watching the ball drop, chances are your New Year’s Eve will involve some sort of midnight toast. Make it a memorable one by starting with standout sparkling wine, which doesn’t have to be expensive to be distinctive. Here, we offer seven that stand up to the task, whether your budget’s $14 or $140.

1. Veuve Ambal Brut Blanc de Blancs NV ($13.95)

Crémant de Bourgogne is a growing category but still relatively unknown, which means you can snag some right now for a spectacular price. This entry-level bottle, which is a blend of Chardonnay and Macabeo grapes, is extremely light, with sprightly bubbles and citrusy aromas. It’s so easy to drink that you shouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself going back for more.
Photo: Susannah Chen

2. Pere Ventura Tresor Brut Rosé Cava NV ($14.99)

Pere Ventura Vendrell, the quirky proprietor of Pere Ventura, good-naturedly refers to himself as a “cava missionary.” His sparkling wines exude the same playful quality, especially the Brut Rosé, with its deep blush color hinting at a bouquet of fresh strawberries and its dry, minerally finish.
Photo: Palm Bay International

3. Toques et Clochers Crémant de Limoux NV ($19.95)

Crémant de Limoux is yet another exceptional French value outside the Champagne category, and this Chardonnay-based bottle, with its applelike flavors and creamy texture, is a fine example. A fun fact to share with friends when you pop the bottle: Toques et Clochers winemaker Laurent Mingaud puts a percentage of profits each year toward rebuilding a structure in the town of Limoux, and this year, it went to renovating an old church.
Photo: Susannah Chen

4. Joseph Perrier Cuvée Royale Brut NV ($48.99)

Legend has it that Queen Victoria loved the brut cuvée from this small, family-owned Champagne house. And who could fault her? The bottle invites with briny, lemon-lime aromas, elegant and refined bubbles, and a nice long finish.
Photo: Joseph Perrier

5. 2004 Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé ($59.99)

You’d pay around the same amount for a bottle of nonvintage Champagne as you would for this 2004 Laurent-Perrier. So what are you waiting for? Here’s what’s waiting for you: big, robust flavors like toasted brioche bread and lemon curd, superfine bubbles, and the memories of the last decade.
Photo: K&L Wines

6. 2004 Joseph Perrier Cuvée Joséphine ($134.95)

The house of Joseph Perrier blends its four best Pinot Noir and four best Chardonnay crus together to achieve a highly unique bottle with layers of complexity and flavor. Expect notes of fresh pear, apple spice, and toast, as well as an extremely delicate mousse and a finish that seemingly lingers forever.
Photo: Joseph Perrier

7. 2004 Iron Horse Brut LD Magnum ($185)

If you’re looking for a bottle to share with 20 of your closest friends, this limited-production magnum would be one impressive move. It’s made of a 50-50 blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and is late-disgorged, which means it’s been aged for more flavor (in this case, nine years). Best of all, it channels the holidays with its candied fruit notes and intense, dry finish.
Photo: Susannah Chen; Header image from Washington Life

Susannah Chen is a San Francisco–based freelance writer. When she’s not cooking or writing, she’s on the hunt to find the world’s best chilaquiles. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
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