Champagne, sparkling wine coming only from the Champagne region in France, can be expensive. The land of Champagne is spectacular for creating beautiful sparkling wines, but it has a tempermental climate prone to frost. Another cost factor is the labor intensive Methode Champenoise style of making Champagne, while it greatly increases the flavors and complexity of the wine; it also greatly raises the price. While delicious, the less intensive wines of Cava, Prosecco and Spumante will never achieve the same complexities found in a truly great bottle of Champagne.
With this in mind here are a few readily available, delicious values to take to your next holiday party: Boyer Brut Blanc de Blancs, $9.95 (Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St.), made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, crisp, dry and a surprising value.
Roederer Estate Brut NV, $15.99 to $18.95, Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St., America's Wine Shop (398 3rd Avenue @ 27th St.) & Morrell & Company (One Rockeffeller Plaza). This California Sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley.
Iron Horse Classic Brut NV, $25.99, Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St.) & Zachy's (16 East Parkway, Scarsdale, NY). A blend of 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay from Sonoma County's Green Valley.