Bubbles for your Budget

Sparkling wine and Champagne are great options for almost any occasion. They make a great hostess gift, thank-you gift, and a nice case with a note for each month of the year makes a great wedding gift for wine lovers. They also tend to be very food friendly wines, a great dinner party choice when you don’t know what is being served for dinner.

It can be hard to figure out which sparkling wines are really great especially in the low to mid price ranges. As always, tasting is the best way to find out what works for you, but I thought I would share a few of my favorites in a wide range of prices, something appropriate for every occasion.

Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne, $59.99

I actually received this bottle in a happy accident. A public relations agency sending me wine to sample had a warehouse mix-up which resulted in this bottle arriving at my door. I offered to send it back, and they kindly told me to keep it. We saved it all winter long and enjoyed it on a recent summer evening, just because. This champagne’s tiny, festive, and abundant bubbles made me smile, and its classic, yeasty nose and toasty flavors give it a great creaminess.

Ruinart Champagne

Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, $44.99 (Boston Wine Exchange often has deals on Veuve for under $40)

A true classic, Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label shouts celebration and elegance to me. It’s crisp fruit and nice mineral flavors make this dry bubbly a perfect pairing for a large variety of meals including a regular old pizza, a tip I learned while reading French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano, a favorite book of mine, and as I say on my About page, one that was life-changing for me in terms of eating and exercise.

Veuve Clicquot  

J Cuvée 20 Brut, $22

A Sonoma Valley favorite, this bubbly offers toasty, yeasty flavors with hints of honey and a little bit of lemon. Sweeter than some of my other choices, and as corny as it sounds, this sparkling wine really evokes a spring day in wine country. We enjoyed this bottle at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg and will no doubt enjoy it in the future, hopefully at a visit to J Vineyards :)

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Chateau Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs, around $10

For this price point, and really just in general, this sparkling wine from Washington’s Columbia Valley is outstanding. It is citrusy, very dry, with flavors of tropical fruits and green apples. I absolutely love it and would happily serve this as an everyday bubbly or at a special meal. We enjoyed this at Lineage last weekend, and it will always be one of my favorites.

Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs

As you can see, sparkling wines do not have to be expensive to be delicious. I hope you will think of these options the next time you are shopping for that special bottle, whether for some big occasion or just to celebrate a summer evening.

Have a great Saturday everyone! And if you get a chance, please check out the two guest posts I did this week, one on The Wine Bottega for CRAVE Boston and one on Vianne Chocolat for Boston Local Food Festival

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Tags: champagne, Chateau Ste. Michelle, J Vineyards, Ruinart, sparkling wine, Veuve Clicquot, wine

  1. ashleigh’s avatar

    Great post Meghan! I love champagne and am on a budget so I’ll def keep some of these in mind! I’m most excited to try Chateau Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs..it’s gotta be a step up from andre :)

    Reply

  2. Raija’s avatar

    Great go-to list! Thanks for posting!

    Reply

  3. Simply Life’s avatar

    Oh this is great to learn about all these varieties!

    Reply

  4. Daisy’s avatar

    I can always count on you to have me craving bubbly. I’m all about the $10 bottle. Or a free $50 bottle. either one ;)

    Reply

  5. Carolyn Jung’s avatar

    Affordable bubbly is a fine thing, indeed. I hope it nudges people to drink sparkling wine more often. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion to have a glass or two.

    Reply

  6. elizabeth’s avatar

    I love your picks! I myself am a fan of prosecco and cava for budget finds that are not budget at all in taste.

    While I am partial to Vueve, the husband likes the Moet White Star–which is similarly priced.

    Reply

  7. Baking Serendipity’s avatar

    I love good champagnes. Bad ones…blech. Too many college New Year’s Eve parties served bad champagne. I’m so over it. Awesome choices…thank you!

    Reply

  8. Michelle’s avatar

    I love bubbly and I just bookmarked this post for future reference! And kudos for highlighting BWE’s deals on Veuve. I’ve been picking bottles up there because their prices are so great!

    Reply

  9. The Cilantropist’s avatar

    I have actually had the Chateau Ste. Michelle before and I would agree, for the price it is a great champagne! Thanks for sharing this list!

    Reply

  10. Jason Phelps’s avatar

    Thank you for the survey on different kinds of sparkling options. So many ways to enjoy!

    Jason

    Reply

  11. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

    I feel very bubbly after reading this post :)

    Reply

  12. Ellen (lapuremama)’s avatar

    Thank you for this post! I LOVE champagne… I mean LOVE champagne. Veuve is my favorite but I will definitely look for the others. Especially the Ste. Michele…. I had no idea it was so affordable. Thank you for the great info!

    Reply

  13. Mark’s avatar

    I’ve been wanting to do a bubbly tasting all summer long. Thanks Meghan for the incentive. On a side note, I’ve never heard of or seen the Ruinart. Was this your favorite of the group? Sounds great.

    Reply

  14. RavieNomNoms’s avatar

    Great post! Thanks!

    Reply

  15. Susan’s avatar

    Fantastic post! I love champagne, but it always takes me so long to select the perfect bottle.

    Reply

  16. Dionne Baldwin’s avatar

    Thank you for this post and I’m not just saying that as a courtesy. I mean it! I know nothing of sparkling wines and champagnes and very little about wines in general. This being wine month I bet these are on sale so I should probably stock up…heehee.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      I am glad! It can be hard to find good sparkling wines especially at better values. I hope you find one you enjoy!

      Reply

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