We love our festive cocktails and bottles of beautiful reds this time of year. Please give us all the hot toddies and spiked eggnog concoctions. And there’s truly nothing like a tall, frosty beer after a long day on the mountain. But when it comes time for that ball to drop on New Year’s Eve, the festivities just aren’t complete without a glass or two of Champagne. This beautiful bubbly beverage is celebratory in its very essence and, therefore, simply must be enjoyed on the most celebrated night of the year. Unfortunately, though, those bubbles tend to come with a pretty price tag, particularly if one is set on enjoying true Champagne and not another variety of (often more affordable) sparkling wine.
One of the reasons our favorite fizzy drink tends to be a bit pricier is because Champagne can only be classified as such if it comes from the Champagne region in northern France. If your bubbles come from another region – or a different country altogether – it is considered sparkling wine, not Champagne. This region itself is quite small compared to other wine regions, and is made of soil that is infamously difficult to work. Creating a bottle of deliciously pure and bubbly, perfect Champagne is a true labor of love, and that love comes at a cost.
So if it’s true Champagne you desire the night the New Year begins, and you’d rather avoid running up the Amex bill to do it, all hope is not lost. These are four of the very best bottles of Champagne you can buy for less than $50.
Even if you’re not a Champagne drinker, you likely know the Moët label. Moët & Chandon is one of the largest producers of Champagne in the world, and its ever-classic Moët Impérial Brut is the brand’s most iconic bottle. Created in 1869, this deliciously drinkable Champagne is bright and fruity with fresh notes of green apple and citrus. Warmer, nuttier hints of brioche are subtle on the palate, and the finish is delightfully refreshing and smooth.
If pairing Moët & Chandon with food for your celebration, it goes tremendously well with light pasta dishes, poached seafood, and roasted artichokes.
This tremendously popular brand is the best-selling Champagne in France and the third best-selling in the world. Deserving every since last drop of its adoration, Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut is composed of 40% Pinot Meunier, 40% Pinot Noir, and 20% Chardonnay, which give it its signature elegance and delicacy. Its pale gold color and abundance of bubbles pop with floral aromas and predominant notes of pear, apple, almonds, and hazelnut.
This truly accessible Champagne is delicious with just about anything, but we love to pair it with smoked salmon mousse and sea bass sashimi.
This absolutely gorgeous NV Brut is a beautiful blend of 35% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Meunier, 5% Arbanne, Petit Meslier, and Fromenteau grapes, giving it its rich complexity. Aubry’s flavors are crisp and brisk, with strong notes of green apple, pear, and lemon, with white flowers that soften the wine’s signature tension and crystalline form.
For food pairings, Aubry Brut is exceptional with foie gras, shrimp, smoked salmon, and caviar.
We had to include Andre Clouet Brut Rose No. 3 on our list not only because it is an absolutely delicious champagne but also because it is an incredible rosé champagne, which makes it twice as fun. This wine’s gorgeous hue comes from the addition of 8% red wine. Its pure, refined flavor is round and robust, with red fruit and crisp, effervescent bubbles adding interest and intensity to this beautifully balanced wine.
This wine is so attractive to watch; be sure to show it off in your best coupes or flutes when it comes to party time…and don’t forget to pair it with soft cheeses for the perfect combination.
Last but most certainly not least on our list is Champagne Serge Mathieu Blanc de Noirs Brut Tradition. This beautiful wine is made entirely of pinot noir grapes and highlights all the fruit qualities of the full-bodied, intense grape. This classic Champagne tastes far more expensive than it is, with aromas of dried apple and lemon, accented with deep and calm mineral notes and a dry, steely finish.
While most Champagne pairs exceptionally well with oysters, this one is our favorite for this classic culinary duo. A few bottles of this on a New Year’s Eve seafood tower would undoubtedly make your party the one to attend.
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