New Year's Eve: Great sparkling wines under $20

Sparkling wines, photographed in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. (Mark DuFrene, Bay Area News Group)

Making great sparkling wine is not complicated. It simply takes the right growing conditions and ample aging in the bottle. In fact, these days, you can find remarkably fine bubbles from all over the world — and, in many cases, for around $20 a bottle in the same stores that you’re stopping by for staples.

Since you’re fresh off the holiday entertaining tornado, we’re not going to make you work hard for your bubbles. This year, we won’t tell you about a fabulous winery making trace amounts of sparkling wine that you’ll never taste. We won’t make you join a mailing list. And there won’t be a test on how to decode Champagne labels.

Instead, we’ve done our homework to bring you the best readily available sparkling wines under $20, from cava and prosecco to award-winning domestic bubbly. Most are nonvintage, so you don’t have to fret about dates. As of press time, the following 15 wines were available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Print out this list and head on over. They’re waiting for you.

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Happy toasting.

Trader Joe’s

Mumm Brut Rose (Napa Valley, CA). Fresh and lively with strawberry aromas and lush, ripe flavors of cherry and vanilla. A classic from Domaine Mumm at a great price (it’s Napa, after all): $16.99.

Trader Joe’s North Coast Reserve Brut. The 12 percent semillon in this classic chardonnay and pinot noir blend makes this wine a bit waxy on the finish, but otherwise it’s a perfectly quaffable small-production toaster with brisk acidity and a good pour. $9.99

Domaine Chandon Brut Classic (California). Refreshingly soft, yet dry with pear and citrus notes and nutty flavors of almond brioche. Hooray for Chandon. Always. $15.99.

Gloria Ferrer (Sonoma County, CA) Brut. There’s 9 percent locally grown chardonnay for crispness and vibrancy, but the rest is pure Carneros pinot noir. That’s what gives this double gold medal winner its depth and lush mouth feel. Hard to beat at $14.99.

Whole Foods

Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Rose. This Spanish sparkler has alluring aromas of raspberry and cherry on the nose with fresh, clean strawberry flavors. Awarded numerous value-brand-of-the-year accolades. $7.99

Marques de Gelida 2009 Cava Brut Reserva. Made with organically farmed indigenous Spanish grapes, this superior vintage bubbly is lemony and herbal on the nose with tropical fruit and vanilla bean flavors. Its consistent bead is lively and makes for a long finish. We’ll be drinking this. $19.99.

Gruet Blanc de Noirs. Year after year, this New Mexican sparkler delivers rich and toasty flavors, a pretty salmon color, aggressive mousse and bold fruit flavors. The current release is no exception. $16.99.

Scharffenberger Brut Excellence (Mendocino County, CA). Vanilla cream flavors give this wine a round and full-bodied appeal balanced by citrus notes. We like the hazelnut aromas, too. $18.99

De Chancery 2011 Sparkling Vouvray Brut (Loire Valley, France). A Whole Foods exclusive, this sparkling chenin blanc has a graceful, persistent pour and elegant notes of baked pineapple brioche that continue to a candied fruit finish. Impressive length. $18.99.

De Chancery Cremant de Loire Brut. Delicate and full-bodied with a fine, nervy mousse and balanced flavors of chenin blanc, chardonnay and cabernet franc. Lively, graceful, aromatic and persistent. A dead ringer for Champagne at a third of the price. $14.99.