December; it may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it's also one of the most expensive. Between gift shopping for friends and family, all the Christmas parties, plus the festive habit of starting every sentence with the disclaimer "well, it is the holidays," things can get pricey pretty quickly. 

One thing you should never have to skimp on this season is your fondness for fizz. Luckily for us (and our bank accounts), you don't have to splurge to enjoy excellent sparkling wines from France. Louis Bouillot has been a specialist in Crémant de Bourgogne – the appellation used to describe the white and rosé sparkling wines produced in Burgundy – since 1877. And with over 130 years of experience under their belt, each carefully-crafted cuvée expresses the extraordinary diversity of the wine region's hallowed terroir, without the hefty price tag of its champagne equivalents. 

Louis Bouillot uses the same method of production as champagne (the grapes are handpicked and fermented twice, before being riddled and disgorged) at a fraction of the cost. Their Perle Noire, a medium-bodied Brut produced exclusively from the juice of black grapes, is $16.95 at the LCBO. Enjoy this sparkling wine with seafood, cheese and dessert this holiday. Or, if you're looking for something a little more colourful, Perle d’Aurore, a lively rosé made from three varietals (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Gamay), is available for just $21.95.  The crisp and fruity Crémant de Bourgogne, with strawberry and citrus notes and fine bubbles, is a great way to celebrate 2018 and toast to 2019.  

Louis Bouillot is perfect at any time of year, but there's something about the holidays that makes popping a bottle open all the more appealing. Keep some on ice this New Year's Eve or pick up a bottle and surprise your host at all your festive gatherings – we promise you'll be invited back. 

louis-bouillot.com