New Year's bubbly on a budget

Don't go bankrupt celebrating the New Year.

While a bottle of super-high-end Dom Perignon or Louis Roederer Cristal can run into the hundreds, and even thousands, budget-conscious Champagne lovers can ring in the New Year with quality cheaper bubbles.

Consumer Reports conducted a taste test of 22 wines to find the best sparklers under $20. The wines and Champagnes were featured in the December/January issue of Consumer Reports' ShopSmart magazine.

A Spanish sparkling wine, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava, sells for $10 — less than half the price of similar-tasting French Champagnes, said Consumer Reports. The wine pairs well with raw seafood.

The Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut, from California, was $16. This sparkler, made from only red grapes, is "fruity and yeasty," said Consumer Reports, and is a good accompaniment to savory food.

Other recommendations included the Piper Sonoma Select CuvDee Brut, $16, and the Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, $20, both California wines.

Wine Web sites can also point thrifty drinkers to savings. Ordering online by the case ahead of a party saves on shipping, and the magazine recommends using Internet prices to haggle at a local wine shop.

Sites, and offer bargains on wine, Consumer Reports said.

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