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If you had $50 to spend on Champagne, what would you buy?

For my birthday, I plan to buy a fifty-dollar bottle of Champagne. My birthday treat each year is champagne that costs in dollars what I've achieved in age - this year, it's the big 5-0. (I can't WAIT until I turn 100...!)

My price rule is slightly elastic, however - it could be with tax, without tax, on sale, full price, or rounded up/down by a dollar or two. It could even be the by-the-case price (though there's no way I could ever buy a full case). I'm in Minneapolis, so I'll be paying Minnesota prices, but if the champagne is $50 *somewhere* in the US, that's good enough for me.

Also, I probably won't do mail-order, so I'll end up with something that's more-or-less widely available here. Unfortunately, that really limits my selection of propriétaires-récoltants, but I can always dream...

So, what would you buy for $50?


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  1. Anne,

    Right now, Delamotte n.v. Brut (regularly $50+) is on sale near where I live in Berkeley for $30, so that's what I've been buying most recently. http://www.wilsondaniels.com/product....

    Also, virtually anything in this catalog -- http://www.skurnikwines.com/msw/docum... -- is well worth searching for. Faves include Pierre Peters, Pierre Gimonnet, Gaston Chiquet, René Geoffroy, and A. Margaine, among others.

    Other small producers include Larmandier-Bernier -- http://louisdressner.com/Larmandier/ -- and Veuve Fourny -- http://www.kermitlynch.com/0711-Novem... and scoll down to page seven.


    P.S. Happy birthday!

    1 Reply
    1. re: zin1953

      2d on the rec re Skurnik/Theise selections. Look around for Diebolt-Valois, Jacquesson as well.

    2. Grongnet Champagne, Blanc de Blancs, NV.

      I got mine for just under $30 a bottle, and it is as good or better than champagnes costing 2-3 times as much.

      It's a small grower champagne, the lady who makes it is wonderful.

      3 Replies
      1. re: fussycouple

        fussy-- grognet's availability is currently limited... i think the scope of bruno's sales are the extent of its availability-- ie, the triangle area, nc. since i happen to know you're from around there, that makes sense, doesn't it? that said, if the OP DOES live around here, I agree, grognet is magnifique.

        Would add Pierre Moncuit's Hugues de Coulmet Blanc de Blancs NV to the list, as well as any Jacquesson you can find.
        Laurent-Perrier's Brut NV used to be found for that price point, although less so these days.

        Second Duval-Leroy. If you can find 96 DV for under 50, let me know where--i'll buy a case right now.
        And for crizakes, stay away from VC. nasty, repugnant stuff. should barely be allowed to call itself champagne.

        1. re: tacostacoseverywhere

          1996 Duval-Leroy at www.pjwine.com for $46. Buy an entire case and you get 10% off. And please don't buy any more than that. I want some for my next shopping spree.

          1. re: mengathon

            Thanks for the heads up! Am taking delivery next week.

      2. How about a vintage champagne? The 1996 Lanson and Duval-Leroy should both be available for around $50. They should also be ready to drink right now.

        1. i just had a bottle of bollinger special cuvee and thought it was pretty fantastic. goes for about $45 out here.
          i've got a gosset grande reserve stashed away for my next special night...that's $50 out here.
          also been enjoying billecart salmon lately. goes for about $40.
          all three are relatively easy to find, and imho, very tasty.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bwan

            I second Billecart and Delamotte in the easy to find category. If '96 Lanson is available for $50 - do it. It's a monster wine though, will want food. Not for quaffing.

          2. One we like a lot is Chartogne Taillet. a grower Champagne. It lists for $50, but can sometimes be found as low as $37. imho, a great value.

            1. Anne, I don't know if you're interested in doing a search, but over the holidays this board had a gazillion threads on bubbly at all price points. Good recs already here in this thread, but more in the threads of December and January.

                1. So many options, but only one birthday! Unfortunately, Grongnet, Veuve Cliquot, and even Duval-Leroy are too cheap. That's the downside of getting old :-).

                  Last week, I found a bottle of Chartogne-Taillet "Le Fiacre" for $49.99. I considered that an omen, so I bought it for my birthday celebration. Thanks, ChefJune, for telling me about this Champagne!

                  But I'll keep an eye out for other Champagnes for the future. Perhaps I should celebrate my 50th birthday once a month for a year!


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    excellent post aim. i'm printing the responses. pure gold.

                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                      Since CVeuve Cliquot is "too cheap" for you, would you mind picking up a few bottles for me?

                    2. I like Billecart Salmon Rose (NV). If you're lucky you can find it for $50, but it is usually a tad more. I also like Eigley Ouret (or however you spell it) NV stuff, too.


                      1. or, for $50, you could buy two of these:

                        Ariston Carte Blanche Brut

                        pretty tasty, toasty stuff. easily the best value i've come across in my brief champagne tasting career...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bwan

                          Or I could buy 10 bottles of Pascual Toso:

                          Just kidding. For my birthday, I'm splurging on one expensive bottle. I'll spend $10-$25 for an "everyday" sparkler, so I want something I wouldn't normally buy.

                          But I'll save your recommendation for a lesser celebration, like New Year's Eve or dropping my tax form in the mail. :-)


                          1. re: AnneInMpls

                            you're right, for the birthday the splurge is the way to go.

                            but no need to wait for an event that large for the ariston fils...i'm having one tonight to celebrate thursday!

                            that pascual toso is a nice little everyday deal....