When buying champagne for a crowd, the last thing you want to do is break the bank. Yet navigating between the budget champagnes that are drinkable, and those that are just vile swill, can be a hard task. Here are 10 inexpensive champagnes and sparkling wines - most are under $20.
This delicious California sparkler starts off toasty and nutty, then reveals its flavors of citrus, green apple, and pear. Incidentally, Roederer are also the people who make the champagne of choice for celebrities, Cristal, making this truly the rock-star champagne for the rock-bottom price.
A crisp, dry sparkling wine, with aromas of melon and citrus.
You can't beat the price on this California champagne with a silly name. But this sweet chardonnay champagne will please even those who prefer extra dry wines. With the flavors of bread, honey, and citrus, both the wine AND the name are sure to be conversation starters.
One of the most respected sparkling wines in this country, this champagne features coveted small bubbles and hints of citrus and green apple. A sophisticated wine, it's fruity with only a hint of sweetness.
A mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay champagne is a relatively new category combining America's favorite wine with the celebration of champagne. Very drinkable, only the true oenophiles will find this wine a little too sweet.
I don't think of New Mexico as a great wine state, but this winery has been getting some good buzz, particularly for this affordable sparking wine. Its mature taste has a core of pear, apple and hazelnut flavors.
Most people don't think of prosecco as an option for wedding toasts,
but it is a lovely, gently sparkling wine. This is a drinkable clean and crisp sparkler with a mix of bread and fruity peach, apple, and melon notes.
Another region of the world that shouldn't be ignored is Spain. Their version of champagne is called cava, and can be a terrific value for the money. Freixenet makes some of the best cavas, and this one is very dry and smooth, with a mineral complexity.
One of my favorite champagnes, Veuve Clicquot offers a refreshingly smooth and creamy texture with a toasty finish. Not too sweet for the wine connoisseur, but not too dry for the novice. It's a little bit more than the other wines listed here, but it's not as bank breaking as Cristal or Dom Perignon. In my opinion, it's worth the splurge.
By far the most drinkable of the budget champagnes, you can sometimes find it on sale for as little as $2.50 a bottle, making it perfect for large parties and non-champagne drinkers. It's dry with a mild fruityness with overtones of vanilla.