The best and cheapest champagne bottles


The holidays are a time to toast friends, family and happiness in the new year. But first you need a great bottle of champagne – and when it comes to sparkling wine, you need to strike a balance between quality and price.

We spoke to Alison Napjus, wine spectators‘s Senior Editor and Tasting Director to get their recommendations for bottles that will impress your peers without breaking the bank. Wine Spectator conducts blind tastings of more than 18,000 wines annually, and Napjus personally tested around 2,500 wines in 2016, including 500 sparkling wines.

She also gave us some tips on what to look for when choosing a bottle.

“The really big divide in sparkling wine, in terms of price, would be between vintage versions and non-vintage versions,” she said. “Vintage is more expensive and should be symbolic of this year.

Non-vintage wines are typically blends of several different vintages that a producer makes each year as a signature sparkling wine. Non-vintage bottles aren’t usually labeled as such – you can tell one by the absence of the word “vintage” on the label.

Other terms that could mean a higher price: “Blanc de Blancs”, “Blanc de Noirs” and “Rosé”.

“THoses are also more expensive because they use a specific grape variety, and they’re often a small production, so there’s a supply and demand situation,” Napjus said. “The production process also affects the price of the wine.”

Here are the cheapest sparkling wines from Napjus, ranked in ascending order by Wine Spectator ratings. While some of the higher-rated sparkling wines are champagne (meaning they come from the Champagne region of France), others are prosecco from Italy, cavas from Spain, or sparkling wines from California.

Each of these wines is available for $55 or less.

Freixenet Cordon Negro Extra Dry Cava ($12)

Wine Spectator Score: 86/100

Region: Cava, Spain

According to Wine Spectator’s tasting notes, this cava features aromas of “smoke, plum, tangerine and spice”.

Ca’ Furlan Cuvée Beatrice Prosecco Extra Dry ($10)

Wine Spectator Score: 87/100

Region: Prosecco, Italy

Wine Spectator describes this Italian Prosecco as “balanced and slightly juicy”.

2012 El Cep Marques de Gelida Gran Reserva Brut cava ($14)

Wine Spectator Score: 87/100

Region: Cava, Spain

Flavors that stand out in this sparkling wine include apple, almond and lemon curd.

Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rustico ($18)

Wine Spectator Score: 88/100

Region: Prosecco, Italy

Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rustico

Nino Franco Brut Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Rustico ($18)


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This Italian Prosecco has hints of white peach, Thai basil, slivers of almonds and lemon pulp.

2011 Juvé y Camps Brut Nature Cava Gran Reserva de la Familia ($16)

Wine Spectator Score: 89/100

Region: Cava, Spain

According to Wine Specator, this Spanish cava is “a firm, focused version with a smoky hint of mineral that underscores the flavors of freshly sliced ​​pear, tangerine peel, vanilla biscuit and pickled ginger.”

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Carneros ($22)

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs

Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Blancs Carneros ($22)


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Wine Spectator Score: 90/100

Region: California

If you’d rather opt for a California sparkler, this wine has both crisp and creamy flavors.

Ferrari Brut Trento ($26)

Ferrari Trento

Ferrari Brut Trento ($26)


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Wine Spectator Score: 90/100

Region: Trentino, Italy

Wine Spectator describes this sparkling wine as “very drinkable” with notes of “Asian pear, ground ginger, hazelnut and lemon zest”.

Ployez-Jacquemart Brut Champagne Extra Quality ($43)

Wine Spectator Score: 91/100

Region: Champagne, France

It’s a little more expensive than the sparkling wines that precede it on this list, but this Ployez Jacquemart champagne is said to have notes of apricots, orchard blossom, and pastry dough.

Lanson Brut Champagne Black Label ($45)

Lanson Brut Champagne Black Label

Lanson Brut Champagne Black Label ($45)


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Wine Spectator rating: 91/100

Region: Champagne, France

This sparkling wine also comes from Champagne in France and is mineral and smoky.

Pol Roger Brut Champagne Reserve

Pol Roger Brut Champagne Reserve ($50)

Pol Roger


Pol Roger Brut Champagne Reserve ($50)

Wine Spectator Score: 92/100

Region: Champagne, France

This champagne has aromas of poached pear and toast.

2008 Moutard Père & Fils Brut Champagne Cuvée des 6 Cépages ($55)

Wine Spectator Score: 92/100

Region: Champagne, France

According to Wine Spectator, this champagne is best enjoyed with a meal. They describe it as “balanced and succulent, with notes of smoke and spice on a plush finish.”

Bérêche & Fils Brut Champagne Reserve ($46)

Wine Spectator Score: 92/100

Region: Champagne, France

This champagne is acidic, with notes of blackberry, toast, liquorice and tangerine zest.

Alfred Gratien Brut Champagne ($50)

Wine Spectator Score: 93/100

Region: Champagne, France

This champagne is described as “rich”, with a “firm acidity and an airy mousse”.

2009 Domaine Chandon Brut Yountville Vintage ($45)

Wine Spectator Score: 93/100

Region: California

Wine Spectator calls this sparkling wine “polished and graceful” with “floral aromas of Asian pear, fresh ginger and brioche”.

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