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Nov 7, 2009 12:03 PM

Champagne at around $10

What a difference 5 years make!

Back in 2004, in response to OP's request for suggestions re. champagne around $10 a poster said

"Not to be too pedantic, but what you will be getting around $10 is not Champagne but sparkling wine. "

Fast forward Nov 2009:

"We are going to offer champagne for fewer than 10 euros (15 dollars) a bottle for the holiday season," said Christophe Blaise, Carrefour manager in Reims, the Champagne region's capital.

French link:

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  1. I know you're not addressing a quality issue with your post, but the tone of the OP certainly sounds as if it did.

    Like so much else in wine discussions this is, to a great degree, one of personal preference. Personally, I think something like Napa's Schramsberg will stand up to many, many 'real' Champagnes. It's like any other wine, starting with the fruit and followed by the production technique and style of the winemaker. In short, this may enrage some, but "Champagne" tells me where it's from, not necessarily guaranteeing how much I'll like it.

    My SIL likes sweeter wines of all kinds. She absolutely loves Tobin James Dreamweaver, a California sparkling wine which sells for around $12. Go tell her it' s not Champagne! She could care less.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Midlife

      And it's easy to offer Champagne BTG inexpensively in the town where it was created. No freight charges, taxes, etc. I doubt we'll see anything close to that here from Champagne.

      1. re: Midlife

        drink whatever pleases you is my mantra. that said, and I've had plenty of Scharfenberger, Pacific Echo, J, Roderer Estate, etc., but IMHO they just don't match up with most of the Champagnes that I've had. I sure won't turn them down though when offered because they are certainly pleasant wines!

        1. re: ibstatguy

          i would disagree given the price points of those wines. i haven't come across a $30 champagne that i thought was decent. the blanc de blancs and blanc de noirs from schramsberg are wonderful at that price (scharfenberger makes chocolate).

          1. re: shane

            I agree with your take on Schramsberg but have to correct you re Scharfenberger.
            "scharfenberger makes chocolate"..... yes, but :

            1. re: Midlife

              ha! i guess the scharfenbergers got around in the bay area.

            2. re: shane

              I can only perhaps suggest that you expand your experience with champagnes. admittedly there has been plenty of price gouging in the last few years but prices are softening up and I also suggest that you look for the smaller grower/producer champagnes. Midlife has already pointed out the error of your understanding about Scharffenberger.

              1. re: ibstatguy

                can you suggest a few? i really can't think of a champagne i've enjoyed recently under say $50. i live in NY though, so we may have inflated prices.

                1. re: shane

                  NV Billecart Salmon Brut Regular Price: $45.99
                  75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
                  Tel: 212 462 4244

                  Not counting "Holiday Specials", like:
                  Zachy's offer Charles Ellner Cuvee de Reserve Brut NV (90WS) {#135585}, Regular Price: $49.99 per bottle, $150/Six Pack, free shipping, yara yara.
                  Prices good until 11:59pm EST 11/06/09 , but tell Andrew I sent you.

                  1. re: shane

                    J. Lassalle; Vueve Fourny; Diebolt-Vallois; Jean Milan; Pierre Peters...

                    1. re: ibstatguy

                      Grongnet, DuMont... second D-V and Milan-- where did you get Pierre Peters for $30?

                      1. re: Pigloader

                        PL: There are deals to be had in this market and that was/is one of them.

                        1. re: Pigloader

                          I reviewed my purchases and the PP was about $43 (but drank like it was twice that price)

                          1. re: ibstatguy

                            one of my fave producers. drank it the night of my 'civilized' bachelor party... (there were two) :)

            3. I wonder if makers of sparkling wine labeled their product as "Champane" (slight change to spelling) ,would it result in some sort of law suit from makers of Champagne ? It would be an interesting experiment.

              8 Replies
              1. re: TonyO

                Crash course: go open a fast food joint called McDonnald's.

                1. re: TonyO

                  Sadly, at these price points my response would be: "Cham-pain!"

                  I'm not a champagne snob, but I can't get "Champagne"-excited over what is a simple (typically too sweet) sparkling wine.

                  The good side of the coin is that this New Year's season is, I predict, going to be the most competitively-priced champagne season yet. There are superb buys out there for Thanksgiving bubbly, and there's no reason to believe the selling frenzy will subside until after the new year.

                  Now, over fifteen years ago, I was at a party and a sparkling wine was passed. This stuff was dry, with moderate-to-small bubbles, and very, very drinkable, particularly with the foods that were being passed. There was a lovely complexity of flavor that led me to believe it was a rather costly wine. When I walked over to the wine table they were serving a Korbel product. I looked up the price later on and found it retailed at only about $12.

                  It must've been the food they were serving. I've never felt that way about Korbel since then...

                  1. re: shaogo

                    any other champagne or sparklings in the $10 range thats worth trying? All the above are $30+

                    1. re: williamsonoma

                      Gruet for $12 is certainly enjoyable

                  2. re: TonyO

                    Hm. I was under the impression that real Champagne only comes from the Champagne region of France, and that it is an European appellation. Have American standards changed to enforce these standards? I mean, if we're going to put a price tag on something labeled as "champagne" as opposed to "sparkling wine", can we really call it champagne if it's not FROM Champagne?

                    My knowledge is really dated on this. Can somebody explain it?

                    1. re: miki

                      Here's a "cut and paste" from wikipedia:
                      Champagne is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France[1], from which it takes its name. Through international treaty, national law or quality-control/consumer protection related local regulations, most countries limit the use of the term to only those wines that come from the Champagne appellation. In Europe, this principle is enshrined in the European Union by Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. Other countries, such as the United States, have recognized the exclusive nature of this name, yet maintain a legal structure that allows longtime domestic producers of sparkling wine to continue to use the term "champagne" under specific circumstances.[2]. The majority of US produced sparkling wines do not use the term "champagne" on their labels and some states, such as Oregon, ban producers in their states from using the said term.[3]

                      1. re: ibstatguy

                        Thank you! That's interesting about states banning the use of the term, and the wine growers seem to be self-regulating, too, not using the term.

                        1. re: ibstatguy

                          With something like 90% or so of the wine produced in the US coming from California it's helpful to know that California 'grandfathered' in a number of wineries that were making sparkling wine prior to the US signing onto that EU Protocol. While the California sparklers that are protected are supposed to be labeled 'California Champagne' I've noticed that some (like Korbel) use that terminology on their labels but seem to ignore it in other types of marketing/ Others, like Schramsberg and Domaine Chandon, choose to respect the agreement and don't use the word 'Champagne' anywhere except in explaining that that the winemaking style is 'methode champenois'. Then there's Frank Family ( a really good still wine producer) who doesn't use the word Champagne on their bubbly label but uses it in their marketing material. Go figure.

                          To me that says, if it's in the bottle you don't need to make a big deal about it.