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.
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.
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.