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Best value oriented champagne/sparkling wine under $50

Why are champagne so much pricier than decent wines in general?

anyway, I want to buy a few nice champagne or sparkling wines for upcoming holidays to drink at home and want to know if anyone can suggest a nice valued bottle somewhere between $20 to $50.

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  1. a) It costs MUCH MORE to produce a sparkling wine than a table wine, in terms of labor and -- if we are speaking of true Champagne (rather than sparkling wine) -- the grape supply is limited.

    b) The "best" is a subjective/relative term. You may prefer the taste of Wine X over Wine Y, while I may prefer Y . . .and Wine Z over both!

    c) Giving a range between $20-50 gives you some excellent "true" Champagne options, as well as many sparkling wines.

    That said (and remember that pricing in New York is different than in California), one of the best deals in sparkling wines is Gruet from New Mexico. Other great buys in non-Champagne sparkling wine include Gloria Ferrer, Roederer Estate, and Chandon from California.

    From France -- and still in the realm of non-Champagne sparkling wines -- look for wines like Crémant d'Alsace (from Lucien Albrecht, Muré, and others), Crémant de Bourgogne (Domaine Betrand Ambroise, the Cave Cooperative at Viré), Crémant de Loire (Domaine Baumard, Huet, Phillipe Foreau, etc.), and more.

    From Champagne, much depends upon what YOUR local retailer(s) put on sale for the holidays. If you're in Manhattan, I'd check in with Chambers St. Wines -- http://chambersstwines.com -- and see what they have to offer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: zin1953

      I think that there are amazing American sparkling wines. In addition to Roederer Estate, which is my go to for the holidays, you might also take a look at Schramsberg. I like both better than Gruet but then they cost a little more, but not much.

    2. If you can find it, Chartogne Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne is a bargain at under $35. Great juice, and with an extra year or two on the cork you would be shocked how good it is for the price.

      1 Reply
      1. re: la2tokyo

        Found it at a wine shop near my office in NYC but it's $42 a bottle. Will definitely try it though! Thanks for the recommendation.

      2. I don't know where you live and what's available in your area. If you're looking for true Champagne, two of my favorites in your price range are Taittinger non-vintage, which is easily found in the Los Angeles area, and Camille Saves, a grower -Champagne that may be harder to find.

        If you are open to sparkling wine, I second Zin's recommendations for Gruet and Roederer, and would add Domaine Carneros.

        1. I am in Northern NJ..i also work in midtown Manhattan.

          Thanks for the recommendation. Will look for them.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Monica

            If you live in Northern New Jersey, you can easily order from Wine Library in Springfield, NJ. They deliver very quickly, and their prices cannot be beat for this area. They carry the Gruet sparklings for $12.95! check out winelibrarydotcom.

          2. Moore Brothers has two of my favorite grower champagnes, Bereche and Diebolt Vallois, both under $50. It's in your neck of the woods (20th between 5th and Park).

            http://www.wineaccess.com/store/moore...

            1. For my money, the best value sparkling wines are made in New Mexico by Gruet. From Brut to Blanc de Noir to Rose, they are delicious and charming. and I've never seen one that cost more than $15.

              1. My go to, always available in my grocery store and always well priced,is the Chandon Blanc d'noir. I also like the rose. Comfortably under $20.

                1. My palate still prefers the toasty brioche and yeasty flavors of Champagne, so here are some that I love. I've also included some domestic sparkling wines that I like.

                  All of these wines are full bottles (750 ml) and currently in stock at K&L Wines. I'm sure there's a comparable store where you are. http://www.klwines.com/content.asp?N=...

                  Champagne
                  Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne $30
                  Heidsieck Monopole "Blue Top" Brut Champagne $30
                  Pommery "Brut Royal" Champagne $30
                  Laurent-Perrier Brut Champagne $32 **
                  Gosset "Brut Excellence" Champagne $38 ****
                  Louis Roederer "Brut Premier" Champagne $39
                  Perrier Jouët "Grand Brut" Champagne $40
                  2007 Ariston Aspasie Brut Champagne $40
                  2005 Amaury Coutelas Vintage Brut Champagne $40 ***
                  Billecart-Salmon "Brut Reserve" Champagne $45 ***
                  Pommery Rosé Brut Champagne $50
                  Charles Heidsieck "Brut Reserve" Champagne $50 ****
                  2004 Daniel Ginsburg "Cuvée Rene Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne $50 ****

                  Domestic Sparkling Wine
                  Gruet New Mexico Blanc Noirs Sparkling Wine $16 **
                  -- I'm not fond of the other Gruet sparklers --
                  2009 Domaine Carneros Brut $20
                  J Vineyards "Cuvée 20" Sparkling Wine $25
                  Domaine Chandon "Etoile" Brut $25
                  2009 Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Wine $30
                  2010 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs Brut Sparkling $30 **

                  20 Replies
                  1. re: maria lorraine

                    Some attractive prices there, Maria.

                    1. re: maria lorraine

                      I hadn't seen the Gruet Blanc Noirs. We do like the rose' but we don't have your palate :) Will have to try the white. It made me chuckle the first time when we were told it's from New Mexico!

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        looks like my local Total wine carries Gruet Blanc noirs.

                        Some good list. THanks!

                        1. re: Monica

                          Total Wine is mind-boggling, isn't it?

                            1. re: zin1953

                              Both :) They have a great selection but you get little help. Kinda like Lowe's.

                              1. re: c oliver

                                My local Total wine shop has really helpful people. THe only problem is a lot of the wines they have been recommending me have been pretty bad..maybe it's me. The last bottle of bordeaux I purchased was nothing special for a bottle that costed over $30.
                                I have been going to Total wine like every other weekends, spent hundreds...now, I am back my Costco's wine shop where I always get reliable preselected wines at great to good prices. My last Bordeaux I purchased from Costco for about $13 was excellent!

                                1. re: Monica

                                  Maybe that's what I meant to some extent. The staff is helpful but not necessarily all that well informed. And with the overwhelming selection I, being not knowledgeable about wine, have taken their advice and not been all that impressed.

                                  1. re: c oliver

                                    Which is why "Total Wine" is anything but . . .

                                  2. re: Monica

                                    No, Monica . . . not you. That's why I asked.

                                    1. re: zin1953

                                      I also noticed that Total wine sells a lot of wines that no other places are selling.. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.
                                      I like Total wine for their beer selections and prices are lower than most competitors.

                                      1. re: Monica

                                        Thought Total's bubbly selection had many low-end selections, and not too many quality bottles.

                                        If there's a store that specializes in Champagne/Sparkling Wine near where you are, you will probably find a much better selection, including some grower Champagnes, as well as better prices. I'd seek out a store like that.

                                        1. re: maria lorraine

                                          When we're in Reno, there's really nothing else other than Safeway, etc. At the lake we'd have to drive to Truckee which is about 20 miles away. :(

                                        2. re: Monica

                                          >>> Total wine sells a lot of wines that no other places are selling. <<<

                                          What does that suggest to you?

                                          1. re: zin1953

                                            That you can get an amazing hidden gem?? LOL

                                            1. re: Monica

                                              Well, that's NOT what it suggests to me! ;^)

                                              1. re: Monica

                                                that's not what it suggests to me, either. And I'm guessing if you look (not too) closely, you'll find a lot of those same wines at the supermarket and Walgreens...... :p

                                            2. re: Monica

                                              Re Total Wine's beer selection; unfortunately, most of them are warm.

                                    2. re: c oliver

                                      I've never been to Total and know nothing about it, except that when I'm searching for more obscure things on wine-searcher.com they're often among the results.

                                    3. re: Monica

                                      Total Wine in North Carolina sells a magnum of Francois Montand Blanc de Blancs for $25. I quite enjoy it, and it is a bargain priced French sparkler.
                                      http://www.totalwine.com/eng/search/f...

                                  3. Second on Gruet and Roderer Estate. Great values, very French in style.

                                    For Champagne, sometimes there are promotional discounts on good wines that are trying to break into the US market.

                                    Does Manhattan have a Champagne specialist / discounter comparable to D&M in San Francisco?

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                      Not that I can find. Astor and Garnet have been price/selection choices for a while now, and they run mostly two to six dollars above the KL prices listed above. Crush and a few other shops have a good selection of nose bleeds.

                                      1. re: wewwew

                                        Found Chartogne Taillet Cuvee Sainte Anne at Crush's website..I work literally a few blocks from this shop..incredible looking store.

                                        1. re: Monica

                                          It's a fun store, Monica. They don't carry any wines they don't personally like! :D

                                          Drew Nieporent is an owner of that store. And they run great email specials. Get on their list.

                                          I still think your best qpr is going to be at wine library. Get to know Ian Dorin (on the phone/email), the wine director. He's a huge resource.

                                          1. re: ChefJune

                                            I checked out wine library's website and it really is an amazing store..both for selection and prices. I wish i lived closer to the shop. Thanks for great tips!

                                            1. re: Monica

                                              Monica-
                                              Don't forget Wine Library ships, as a matter of fact that was/is their largest market and I believe their shipping prices are pretty good, then again I live 20 minutes away from them. Best of luck.

                                              1. re: Monica

                                                I generally order on line and have the wine delivered. For NJ it's around $20 a case. and often they offer free delivery. Although I live only about 30 minutes from there, I don't have a car, so delivery is really handy for me.

                                                you should sign up for their email notices, and also for Cinderella wines. great deals. no, KErazy deals.

                                      2. Champagne Perrier-Jouët is my go-to, priced at $45
                                        This list has some other great selections in your price range:
                                        http://www.gayot.com/wine/top10value-...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: foodiefriendla

                                          Hmmmm . . . some alternatives -- all "true" Champagne; all 750ml; all under $45:

                                          Canard-Duchêne Brut nv - $32.99
                                          Canard-Duchêne Brut "Charles VII" nv - $44.99
                                          Charles de Cazanove Tete De Cuvee Brut nv - $29.99
                                          Gosset Brut Excellence nv - $39.99
                                          Laurent-Perrier Brut LP nv - $32.99
                                          Michel Turgy Blanc De Blancs Reserve Selection Brut nv - $44.99
                                          Pierre Moncuit Grand Cru Blanc De Blancs, Brut nv - $39.99
                                          Piper Heidsieck Brut nv - $29.99
                                          Serge Mathieu Cuvee Prestige Brut nv - $38.99
                                          Serge Mathieu Tete De Cuvee Select Brut nv - $44.99
                                          Serge Mathieu Tradition - Pur Pinot Blanc De Noirs Brut - $34.99
                                          Taittinger La Francaise Brut nv - $34.99

                                          The above -- and this is far from a complete listing -- are all available from D&M (http://dandm.com/champagne/non-vintag...). Other options also include the offerings by K&L (http://www.klwines.com/content.asp?N=...), and many others . . .

                                        2. Just received a few bottles of 2007 Sinnet Sparkling Rose from Last Bottle........$16 shipped (with purchase of 6)....not sure about availability, but I found this to be very nice and will be a great option with Thanksgiving. I also like Gruet, Argyle, and love trying different grower Champagnes as opposed to the "big name houses". Cheers!