Here's a great party trick: Confidently rattling off the difference between Champagne, cava, cremant, and more.
The gold standard, Champagne is the most popular and most requested sparkling wine by far. Produced in the Champagne region of France (hence the name), these wines are made with three types of grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meaner. (Note that some sparkling wines made in England and the U.S. use a lowercase "c" to denote a sparkling wine that is like Champagne, but not from France.)
Try: Moet & Chandon Grand Vintage, $73 or Dom Perignon, $160
This is a hugely popular sparkling wine that is loved by U.S.-drinkers, in part for its price. (At least, when compared to Champagne.) It's a dry, white Italian wine that's been fermented, but unlike Champagne it does not get better with age, since it's made with Prosecco grapes. Basically, this is your PSA to drink all that Prosecco in your fridge this weekend.
Try: Ruffino Prosecco, $12 or Martini Prosecco, $17
Spain's answer to sparkling wine wasn't originally a hit in the States, but some current exports definitely deserve a pour (or five). Cava is generally made from Xarello, Macabeo, and Parellada, and many are aged longer than Champagne.
Try: Campo Viejo, $12.99
Cremant means "creamy" in French, and is sparkling wine made in France but not in the Champagne region — meaning different grapes. It's made the same way as Champagne, though.
Try: Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose, $20
Lambrusco has become increasingly popular over the years — it's an Italian sparkling red wine. Yes, red. (Oooh.)
Try: Cleto Chiarli Lambrusco, $16
The Portuguese version of a sparkling wine, espumante is made in the style of Champagne and is solely produced in a region just south of Vinho Verde. Don't be fooled by Espumosos — that is the cheapest and lowest level of sparkling wine, which is made by injecting the wine with carbon dioxide. (Not that we'd turn down a glass.)
Try: Caves Alianca Danubio Espumante, $6
The Italian sparkling wine is a bit sweeter than prosecco, as it's made from the Moscato grape in the province of Asti. Think: really grape-y flavors, and a low level of alcohol (usually 5-8%).
Try: Saracco Moscato d'Asti, $15
This German and Austrian version of sparkling wine uses Riesling, Pinot Gris, and Pinot Blanc grapes. Most Sekt is produced using the traditional Champagne method (known as the Charmat method), but some cheap options are injected with carbon dioxide. (These wines are known as Schaumwein, meaning "foam wine.")
Try: Weingut Schwaab-Dietz Sekt Trocken Riesling, $25
Pretty much every country by now has their own version of a sparkling wine. South Africa's version is known as Methode Cap Classique, while Australia's is a version of Shiraz. Ask your local winery for more recommendations — then say cheers, salud, prost, or whatever you'd like before you take a sip.