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Cheap Champagne to buy in Toronto

cangirl Aug 23, 2010 12:03 AM

Hi: Some friends and I are planning a huge New Year's Party and my job is to source the Champagne. Any ideas of where I can get cheap and tasty Champagne by the case in Toronto?. Also, Is this a good time to begin looking?. Thank you.

  1. Thatcher Aug 24, 2010 06:13 PM

    A lot of people have recommended Prossecco (sp?) and other types of sparkling wines.

    May I offer this recco...

    Try Cremant (it's a style of wine - not a brand). Cremant is not officially Champagne, because it is not from the strict region of France that "Champagne" comes from. However, it is made in exactly the same style, from exactly the same grapes...just miles from the region.

    Therefore, it is delicious. And, like *real* Champagne stands well on it's own, while many other sparkling wines are best mixed...

    Best of all, you can get many really yummy Cremants for under $20, whereas a "real" Champagne is easily $50+.

    It all comes down to, are you looking for something to drink or a label to impress? If it's the label you're looking for, can't help you...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Thatcher
      TorontoJo Aug 24, 2010 06:18 PM

      Actually, millygirl and I both made that rec at the beginning of the thread. :)

      But it turns out the OP is looking for under $15, so the cremants are out.

      1. re: TorontoJo
        sloweater Aug 24, 2010 06:40 PM

        Airen Imports carries Conde de Caralt. It's a brut cava made in the traditional method if I remember correctly.

    2. u
      UCC007 Aug 24, 2010 11:07 AM

      Would it be worth it for you to do a trip to Buffalo? If not, I've always found Freixenet Cordon Brut (13.70) to be a good cava and none-too harsh on the palette.

      2 Replies
      1. re: UCC007
        FrankD Aug 24, 2010 05:25 PM

        I was wondering where the love for Freixenet was. Unless you're going for vintage champers, I find this as good, half the price of French, and not near as sweet as domestic attempts.

        1. re: UCC007
          detritus Aug 25, 2010 08:06 AM

          About the recommendations to go to Buffalo:

          Be aware that there are restrictions on crossing the border with alcohol. After you stay a while (48 hours I think) you can bring back 1.5L of wine duty-free. Anything over that you'll have to pay tax and duty on, which can add up pretty quickly (there are a lot of taxes and duties on booze).

        2. h
          h2o Aug 24, 2010 07:36 AM

          Some sparkling options by the case:

          1. elvisahmed Aug 23, 2010 01:59 PM

            While not cheap anymore I like the Peller Estate Ice Cuvee with Ice Wine Added in. For Budget I recommend Segura or if you can make a trip to a Costco South of the Border try the Kirkland Champagne (it is a Real Champagne) is an amazing value.

            1. Rabbit Aug 23, 2010 07:47 AM

              Segura Vidas is a good call.

              We also like Cordoniu (another Spanish sparkler), which comes in at a slightly reduced price point: http://www.lcbo.com/lcbo-ear/lcbo/pro...

              Note that Cordoniu also makes a rosé at $16.95.

              Prosecco may be another good option, although it tends to be a bit fruitier/sweeter than cava.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Rabbit
                TorontoJo Aug 23, 2010 07:53 AM

                Ditto on both recs. I was just coming back to suggest a prosecco, if the OP doesn't mind a sweeter sparkler. They are generally cheaper as well. I can't suggest a specific brand, as I don't actually like the sweetness of proseccos, unless I'm making a bellini, of course!

                1. re: TorontoJo
                  ShermanTenor Aug 23, 2010 11:48 AM

                  My wife and I really enjoy Bottega prosecco available at the LCBO for around $15.

                  -- ST

              2. TorontoJo Aug 23, 2010 05:18 AM

                Are you looking for true Champagne, or will a sparkling wine do? What's your price point?

                10 Replies
                1. re: TorontoJo
                  millygirl Aug 23, 2010 06:00 AM

                  The LCBO website is a wonderful thing, and very easy to do a product search and gather pricing information.

                  As TorontoJo suggests if your open to something other than champagne, there are always one or two cremants available that are quite often better than champagne itself. You would be hard pressed to tell the difference, and they are a fraction of the price you'll pay for champagne.

                  Larson champagne is one that I find to be reasonably priced but can be hard to find unless you are lucky to hit a release date. Naturally as we get closer to NY, they will become more readily available.

                  1. re: millygirl
                    TorontoJo Aug 23, 2010 06:06 AM

                    Yep, that would be my recommendation if you want quality French sparklers without the Champagne price -- any of the cremants: cremant d'Alsace, cremant de Bourgogne, cremant de Loire.

                    They generally run $18 - $22.

                    If you want a cheaper price point, then my recommendation would be a good cava, specifically Segura Viudas. Like the cremants, it's made using methode champenoise and is great value at $14.50.

                    1. re: millygirl
                      cangirl Aug 24, 2010 05:44 AM

                      I checked toe LCBO website as you suggested. Very interesting for a first time look. Thanks.

                      1. re: cangirl
                        TorontoJo Aug 24, 2010 06:21 AM

                        OK, at the risk of sounding brusque -- are you from Toronto? You do realize that the LCBO is the only place to buy liquor in Ontario, right? (with the exception of a few Ontario wine outlets, and direct wine brokers)

                        This thread has some great suggestions for you, as well as the information that you are most likely not going to get a sale.

                        Here are the suggestions for sub $15 sparkling wines on this thread:

                        - Segura Viudas Brut Reserva - $14.55
                        - Cordoniu Brut Clasico - $12.70
                        - Bottega Prosecco

                        Or do a search for "prosecco" or "cava" or "sparkline wine" on the LCBO site and see what else is available. The web site lists every single bottle of wine available at the LCBO.

                    2. re: TorontoJo
                      cangirl Aug 23, 2010 06:35 AM

                      Yes, a sparkling wine would do. I am thinking no more than $15 per bottle to keep costs down. A sale would be good!

                      1. re: cangirl
                        TorontoJo Aug 23, 2010 07:11 AM

                        Then go with the Segura Viudas Brut Reserva at $14.50 a bottle. Champagnes and sparkling wines don't really go on sale at the LCBO. You may occasionally see a dollar off here and there, but that's extremely rare.

                        1. re: TorontoJo
                          tjr Aug 23, 2010 07:17 AM

                          Sometimes you'll see bottles at Vintages for a few bucks off, not that it makes much of a difference (especially for the OP).

                          1. re: TorontoJo
                            graydyn Aug 23, 2010 10:48 AM

                            Not that it helps the OP, but the LCBOs in small towns often have significant mark-downs when product goes on sale. In Petrolia for example, I've seen Mumm's marked down by 40%. I'm not sure why they get way better sales than us, but I suspect it has something to do with the difficulty of moving certain products in rural areas.

                            1. re: graydyn
                              TorontoJo Aug 23, 2010 11:11 AM

                              Damn, that would be nice to see here in Toronto once in a while!

                        2. re: TorontoJo
                          cangirl Aug 24, 2010 05:42 AM

                          Sparkling wine would definatey do. Nothing over $15 - a sale would be great!

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