Alex Halberstadt writes about the complex relationship between perceived quality and price of champagne on Gilt Taste. He says, "To nurture a desire for champagne is to make peace both with its singular pleasures--a kind of ecstatic brain freeze--and the inevitable expense." He calls it a "signifier of graceful living" but also points out how misunderstood it is and how often, especially with vintage bottles, people falsely equate cost with quality when really they may not understand how to tell when a good champagne is ready to be opened. For this reason, folks often let an expensive bottle sit far longer than it should.
There's a balance between saving a good bottle because it was pricey and knowing when to enjoy something now. Expensive doesn't always mean "save it for later." And inexpensive doesn't always mean expendable.