Tops of the Pops
By Amy Wilson

(MONEY Magazine) – Champagne, once the very definition of swank, may be losing its fizz. Savvy sippers are now buying sparkling wines, which have increased dramatically in quality and availability but not yet in price (the average global price for a bottle of Champagne is $25 vs. $4.80 for a sparkling wine).

Spanish Cavas are especially cool right now--imports are up 5% through September--and Italian Proseccos are faves among foodies. Aria, a dry Cava, retails for $11.95 at New York City's Sherry-Lehmann ( and is perfect for mimosas. Toffoli Prosecco di Conegliano, a small-production label that's $12.95 at New York's Grande Harvest Wines (, is fresh and fruity without being too sweet.

For a home-grown sparkler, look to California, where bottles of Schramsberg Mirabelle Brut ($15.75 at spend at least two years in the winery's caves. It'll leave even the snootiest Francophiles swearing they're sipping much pricier Champagne. --AMY WILSON