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Feb 27, 2012 11:03 AM

Hello! ^_^ Need to get schooled on Champagne!

Hi guys,

I'm located in Santa Clara. The lady and I will be going on a cruise in a month and really want to drink champagne over beer and liquor.

It's only a 3 day cruise so how many bottles will be sufficient? I'm looking to spend around 150-200 max.

I don't know anything about champagne , I did take a wine bike tour in Napa in the past so I have little knowledge of wine, but don't remember too much.

What is Champagne I know they are made from grapes like wine? Do people drink it to get drunk or buzzed or is it just for the taste, the history, respect and character?

Originally I was just going to buy what I always hear about. Dom Perignon or Cristal, but after doing some research on them I hear they are overrated.

Can anyone reccommend something that I can get in the bay area.

So we are thinking og getting two bottles. I want some thing sharp. Something that you can say a man drinks! haha. The lady wants something Fruity a and Bubbly.

Thanks guys.

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  1. The best prices on Champagne are probably at D&M in SF, second-best prices or maybe the same is K&L which has a branch in Redwood City. Both have people on staff who can give you excellent advice.

    Dom Perignon and Cristal are first-rate but you'll get more for your money by buying less-well-known brands.

    1. Roederer Estate Anderson Valley is very good and a great buy BUT

      Are you sure the cruise line will let you bring alcohol on board (many won't)
      Given your questions ( "do people drink it to get drunk"-, etc.) why are you even thinking of drinking champagne - is it to impress someone? Why don't you just drink what you like?

      1 Reply
      1. re: estnet

        Roederer makes some of the best California sparkling wines I've had, but for the same price or even less I can usually do better with Champagne.

      2. On the fruity/bubbly side - look into Prosecco (an Italian sparkling wine). Unless she would be disappointed in anything else but Champagne. I find Champagne too dry (though pairs excellent with food!) and prefer Prosecco as a cocktail wine.

        6 Replies
        1. re: goldangl95

          Champagnes are made in every style from bone-dry to quite sweet. The nomenclature is confusing since the sweet ones are called "sec" (dry).

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Intriguing - I will have to keep a look out. I tend to see Brut and Extra Brut the most often. Are sweeter types readily available?

            1. re: goldangl95

              While taking the Taittinger tour in Rheims, France the tour guide stated that the stuff exported to the United States is much sweeter than the local. Which is why I only get Extra Brut here.

              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                Veuve Cliquot Brut is too savory/dry for me. I'm not sure if sweeter champagne will solve the issue, or I just like more fruit/floral in my wine than the champagnes I've had so far provide. But I am definitely going to try and see.

                I wrestled with this with Riesling. I at first thought it was my favorite varietal because it was sweet - I explored it more and realized it's not the sweet I love; I like really dry Rieslings as well. It's the fruit/floral/mineral profile that really gets me. (Gruner Vetliners I love as well).

                1. re: goldangl95

                  If you like more fruit/floral Champagnes, try Perrier-Jouet and/or Pommery. Both fit that style.

              2. re: goldangl95

                I'm not sure I've ever seen Doux. Sec and Demi Sec are a bit obscure but readily available. Extra Dry is everywhere.

          2. Well, Champagne, or domestic sparklers, are usually made from Chardonnay grapes, and from Pinot Noir grapes. There can be differences. That said, there can be differences (big differences) between the various Champagne houses, and the sparkler producers, even if they use the same grapes. That can be a difference in personal tastes.

            I might like the Champagne from house X, and the next person, might prefer the tastes from house Y. They ARE different, and it's about what one likes best.

            Now, Champagne (and sparklers) are not just about celebration, as they are also great wines for many foods.

            What do you like? That would be what I would bring.


            1. You live in the bay area. Go to K & L, 638 4th Street (SOMA). And you may already know this, but you should also factor in corkage costs. Nearly all cruise lines will charge you to bring your own wine.