We all have to admit that there is a bit of confusion in people’s heads when someone mentions the word “champagne”. In the general knowledge this means any sparkling wine but by the definition champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France-hence the name. Not only that, but it is made by a strict, very specific method and it can only be made of the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grape varieties. It doesn’t matter if it is only one grape or the mixture of all three.
But there are many other different categories and criteria when it comes to grading and categorising Champagne. As with “regular” or any other sparkling wine, we have different colour categories: “blanc de blanc” (wine exclusively made with white grapes) “blanc de noir” (wine made with white and Pinot grapes but the Pinot ones have the skin removed from them, so it doesn’t give the wine a tint) and rose (either a varietal Pinot Noir or a mixture of Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier).
And there are another 2 categories: Vintage and Non-vintage. Vintage means that all the grapes are coming from the same place, same time, the same harvest. This doesn’t mean that non-vintage (a blend of different harvests) would be a lower quality product as this method is a very common practice in Champagne.
It is considered as an expensive, luxurious drink but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to pay an insane amount of money on Dom Perignon or top category Moet & Chandon as there are plenty of excellent alternatives under $100. Below is our list of the best choices.
This champagne is way under $100- only costs $49.95 and is an excellent example that a champagne doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to be good. It non-vintage is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay.
This is a very citrusy, refreshing beverage, with notes of lemon zest, Gala apple and ginger but we can discover a slight touch of honey and toasted brioche, therefore it is excellent for any occasion and dinner party to impress your guests.
It has a pleasant golden colour and the fine bubbles do not feel overwhelming in the mouth, therefore it is very easy to drink, a really light experience.
An affordable edition of the famous and loved Moet & Chandon for only $60. This is a non-vintage rose, a blend of 50% Pinot Noir, a 40% of Pinot Meunier and 10% Chardonnay. The specifically selected reserve wines give a consistency and intensity to this exceptional champagne.
It is a fruity, bright and refreshing drink, created specifically to be enjoyed on ice in the hot summer months. It is carrying strong notes of red fruit and exceptionally juicy with an added firmness provided by the grapefruit notes at the end.
The Ice Imperial is the perfect drink of the summer and can give an elegant finishing touch to any garden party.
A truly special champagne which is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier. 5 to 10% of the blend includes reserve wines which were kept in magnum for several years.
This adds to the complexity and elegance of this blend and makes a very rich and textured champagne. This is a fruity, velvety beverage with notes of pear and brioche, but we can also discover some spicy aromas which is a great stimulation for the senses. Perfect as an aperitif if we want an excellent start to the dinner party and impress the dinner guests.
This excellent bottle is available on a price of $60.
Another elegant champagne- but let’s be honest, which one isn’t? Champagne is a fancy drink after all.
Another non-vintage, and it is a blend of 55-60% Pinot Noir, 20-25% Pinot Meunier and 10-15% Chardonnay. As an addition to this the blend contains 10-15% reserve wines. The brand is the exclusive brand of the Cannes Film Festival and The Oscars.
It is another fresh and fruity champagne, with fresh apple and pear aroma and it has an excellent mouthfeel. Paired with rich, aromatic foods it is the perfect detail of a balanced and enjoyable meal.
While Pipe-Heidseick might sound as an exclusive and very luxurious brand, this bottle is available to everyone for just $60.
This champagne really deserves to be the number one on the list. The brand doesn’t only have excellent reputation for quality, but fun fact: it is run by three generations of women.
This wine has been rated highly by many critics and won the Concours General Agricole Paris Silver award both in 2011 and 2010.
Aged sur lie (on the lees) for 48 months and it is a blend of two vintages. Contains 60% Pinot Meunier, 20% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay. This gives it incredible complexity and depth and makes it the excellent rich and full-bodied wine as it is.
It has a slightly chalky chalky texture with notes of green pear, apricot, lemon zest and honey, but we can also taste pastry dough and oyster shell.
It is a great way to serve it as an aperitif or with cheese as it is a real delicacy and treat-and it is sold for an excellent $49.99.
So, as we can see, there is no need for worrying, everyone can find the champagne for that special occasion without breaking the bank. Time to impress those special guests with a luxurious drink and enjoy the moment. Chin chin!