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Mar 14, 2008 10:50 AM

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.

    Also, virtually anything in this catalog -- -- 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 -- -- and Veuve Fourny -- 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 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.