If I Can’t Afford Champagne, Can I Serve Sparkling Wine?

Is it gauche to serve the less expensive stuff?

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Coryanne Ettiene is a kitchen living and entertaining expert who appears frequently on-air, in print, and across multiple social media channels sharing her love of kitchen living and entertaining in style. Each week Coryanne answers questions from The Daily Meal’s readers on the dilemmas they face while entertaining at home and celebrating the holidays, offering tips for being a confident and modern host.

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Question: "I am on a limited budget and cannot afford to serve champagne at my cocktail party this weekend. Is it frowned upon to serve sparkling wine instead?"

Coryanne: I love champagne, but find that some occasions call for an alternative, and with the variety of sparkling wines out there, you can still offer a stylish bubbly without the added expense of champagne. Popular variations of sparkling wine are found across the globe and come in a variety of tastes and colors; most notable is the Italian prosecco that offers the crisp and dry taste that is commonly found in champagne.

Another Italian favorite of mine is the lambrusco because it pops with a bold red color and offers a well-rounded berry flavor that can be served all year-round. When looking to add a dash of pink to my bubbly, I always reach for the Australian taché. It is a popular sparkling wine that frequently carries a lighter, fruiter taste, which is great for summer entertaining.

Of course, sparkling wine makes a great mixer as well, especially when you are looking to create a bubbly cocktail. When using sparkling wine as a cocktail mixer, reach for a standard white sparkling wine that offers a dry and mild bouquet to keep the cocktail simple and the focus on all the ingredients, not just the bubbly.

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