It’s great for weddings, it’s great for birthdays, it’s even good for the occasional coming of age ceremony. For centuries, Champagne has been produced and used in virtually any celebratory circumstance, but what do you really know about it? Believe it or not, it is so named because it comes from the champagne region of France and is subjected to a process known as secondary fermentation to create the ‘bubbly’ feature that you see in all Champagne. Something interesting to note is that while Champagne has become a generic term for any type of sparkling wine, it is a trademark name, and it must come from the region before it can be legally called such. This rule, however, does not apply within the United States.
In general there are two different types of grapes used in Champagne production which include:
- Black Pinot Noir
- Pinot Noir
Now that you know what Champagne is, you need to choose the type you want for your next celebration. There are several different brands out there, some very expensive and some that are fairly cheap. We’re going to start with the lower end Champagnes and work our way up.
Gruet Blanc de Noirs
This is the cheapest example on our list, but that doesn’t mean it’s low quality, not by any means. As a matter of fact, this wine is manufactured by a family from France – the sons of the Gruet Champagne house. Apparently they found the climates of New Mexico to be more than acceptable for the production of their signature brand, and the quality has never dropped once. The only that has dropped is the price, and it’s low enough that virtually anyone can afford it. You might even find a place for it at your next major event. Because of the low price, it’s great for yourself or for gifting – don’t pass it up if you see it on the store shelf.
Pol Roger Brut NV
So you’re looking for something a little higher end than the one we mentioned previously but you still don’t want to break the bank – perfectly understandable! There are plenty of bubbly drinks under $50, but none quite as good tasting as the Pol Roger Brut. Let’s face it, there are lots of examples in the $50 price range, but many of them tend to miss the mark entirely. Pol Roger Brut has been around for a while, and it’s instantly recognizable at parties. In other words, we consider this to be the best way to play it safe if you’re not sure what to buy.
Vilmart “Grand Cellier”
When you want to go all out, Vilmart is probably the way to go. It tastes amazing, it’s expensive, and it’s going to be a big hit at parties. The biggest drawback is the price, though in our opinion it’s not much to pay for the mix of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir. This might be a non-vintage champagne but it has the taste and sophistication of one. All in all, it’s a great balance and a great value.[Image Credit]