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Jun 5, 2007 12:14 PM

Help with a Champagne choice??

Okay, I'm going to start off by apologizing for my lack of knowledge. I just started enjoying wine and champagne and I'm doing my best to learn as much as I can!

I will be going out to a celebration dinner soon and I want to pick out a great champagne. My options are listed below. I'm looking for a sweeter champagne. When I buy champagne in the store, its usually an Asti (I know those are usually the cheap ones, but I love it!). Does anything listed below fit what I'm looking for?

Champagne Brut NV Bollinger $85
Champagne Brut NV Blanc des Blancs Diebolt-Vallois $65
Champagne NV V.P. Extra Brut Egly-Ouriet $120
Champagne Brut NV Carte Rouge Fleury $70
Champagne Brut NV Pur Chardonnay Henriot $85
Champagne Brut Rosé NV Fleury $90
Champagne Brut Rosé NV Ruinart $120
“Erpacrife” Scarzello 2003 $85
Franciacorta Brut NV Bellavista 1.5L $120
Franciacorta Brut NV Ca’ del Bosco $50
Franciacorta Extra Brut NV La Montina $54
Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero NV Nature Monsupello $65
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Brut NV Drusian $30
Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Ext. Dry NV Ruggeri 1.5L $60

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  1. If your looking for sweet, go for a rose. Roses are sweeter in general. Stay away from anything dry.

    4 Replies
    1. re: poprocks

      I absolutely disagree. Most roses are bruts, and very dry. They are excellent. Almost all the champagnes listed here are dry; the Extrat Dry at the end would be sweetest. Although not sure what you mean by that--fruity? I strongly suggest you consult someone in a good wine store if you are willing to pay up to $120 as listed here.

      1. re: poprocks

        Real Rose Champagne is not sweet as it is made from Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier. None of the Roses on the list are going to be sweet enough for what you are looking for. Believe it or not your best bet will probably be the Extra Dry from Ruggeri as Extra Dry Prosecco is sweeter. Sounds funny but it is true.
        Good luck.

        1. re: poprocks


          Roses are just as dry -- they are generally Bruts -- THAT is the indication of sweetness, which has nothing whatsoever to do with color.

          1. re: zin1953

            Heh, thats what I was sayin. I sell Champagne for a living and find myself having to work twice as hard selling Rose as people assume they are sweet/sweeter. IMHO Rose is some of the most serious Champagne there is.

        2. You have a lot of bruts listed stay away from the extra brut which is very dry.
          For a slightly sweeter (not as sweet as asti) champagne try a Blanc de Noirs this is a champagne produced solely from red grape varieties (pinot noir & pinot meunier), Or a rose one recent find on mine that I love is Piper Heidsieck, Rose Sauvage. $40-$50.
          Cuvee de Prestige is something else to look for on a bottle of champagne (regardless of price) this indicates the best champagne has to offer.
          One fun tidbit is 'special club' or co-ops, These are smaller growers who don't have the $$$ like Vueve, Tattinger, Roederer, so they pool resources to purchase the special bottle and decide each year on the "special club" champagne to be bottled Special club champagne is great bubblyusually at a lower cost. Try Champagne Jacquart.
          See if a local wine shop/winery has champagne tasting. If not maybe get a group of friends have everyone bring their favorite bubbly and do your own tasting to find out what you like other than Asti.

          From your list above I would go with the Oltrepo Pavese Pinot Nero, Fluery Brut Rose, Ruinart Brut Rose.

          1. "Brut" or "Extra Brut" is the driest (least sweet) sparkling wine designation. A wine with zero dozage -- no sweetness whatsoever -- is still a Brut.

            "Extra Dry" is a little sweeter.

            "Dry" or "Sec" is a little sweeter still.

            "Demi-Sec" (half-dry) is still more sweet.

            "Doux" is sweetest.

            Some wines, like an Asti Spumante, are made from Muscat grapes and are always sweet . . .

            So the closest wine to what you seem to be looking for is the Extra Dry Prosecco -- the very last one on your list.

            1. Thanks to all for clearing up the sweetness issue.

              Two other "sweeter" Champagne/sparklers are the
              Mumm "Joyesse" -- France -- Demi-sec, about $36, and
              Chandon "Riche" -- Napa -- Extra Dry, about $18 and a good buy

              1 Reply
              1. re: maria lorraine

                2 more good buy suggestions: Clairette de Die--Cuvée Impériale--Jaillance (Tradition) Champagne (off-dry--slightly sweet), and the Lucien Albrecht Crémant D'Alsace--Brut-Blanc De Blancs...each around $15 and will put a smile on your face.

              2. Ok, if I am reading this correctly, these are the choices at the restaurant you will be dining at. What you will probably like the most is the Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Extra Dry 1.5L. Be advised the 1.5L will be the equivilent to 2-750ml bottles of wine. If you don't want that much, you can call the restaurant in advance and ask them to have a 750ml for you or one of the other magnificent wines suggested already here. Modst restaurants will accomodate you. Also, they may have an Asti on the dessert menu.