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Old 10-27-2009, 11:58 AM   #1
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Help choosing a champagne

Hi

I want to buy a bottle of champagne for a friend's 21st birthday and I'm not sure which one to pick. If it is just going to be drank by itself (i.e. not with food), what would be a good choice? I think I would prefer something on the sweeter side... not a really dry kind. Are Korbel champagnes good? I was looking at their Brut Rose and Sweet Rose... but I'm not sure how those compare to others.

Thanks

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Old 10-27-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by crankin View Post
Hi

I want to buy a bottle of champagne for a friend's 21st birthday and I'm not sure which one to pick. If it is just going to be drank by itself (i.e. not with food), what would be a good choice? I think I would prefer something on the sweeter side... not a really dry kind. Are Korbel champagnes good? I was looking at their Brut Rose and Sweet Rose... but I'm not sure how those compare to others.

Thanks
I don't drink sparkling wine often but when I do I buy Proseco (sp) it is light and refreshing, although most insist on dry this has a slightly sweet after taste and is wonderful mixed with other things. We had a wonderful mix with it this summer and we are all hooked on it.You might ask at you liquor store about it. Not expensive just tasty
Kadesma
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:38 PM   #3
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A lot depends on your budget. How much would you like to spend?

I don't care for Korbel at all.
Brut is the driest type champagne (least sweet)
Extra Dry is sweeter than Brut.

Italian Spumantes are sweeter sparkling wines. Look for Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante for a nice, reasonably priced sweeter sparkling wine. Ballatore is another Italian brand. It's less expensive than the M&R.
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:37 PM   #4
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Are you buying this for you to share with your friend? In that case, the style YOU prefer might be a consideration. Otherwise, if it's a gift, your friend's taste is the one to go with.

I personally don't care for Korbel products, regardless of their price. If you are looking for a sweeter wine, Andy steered you right... Extra Dry is considerably sweeter than Brut.

Asti Spumante is a bit sweeter than Prosecco, but not as much these days. The producers in Asti have revamped their formulas and marketing in an effort to get more serious attention for their wines. Cava from Spain is very tasty and generally very affordable.

What is your budget for this bottle? That will be a guide to which type of wine you will go with. Please avoid Andre at all costs....

Domaine Chandon makes very tasty and affordable sparkling wines in Napa Valley. Depending upon your market, you should be able to find both the Brut and the Rose for under $17.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:13 PM   #5
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korbel is just awful. i buy a brand called barefoot. a good balance i think. runs about ten or eleven a bottle.
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Old 10-28-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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I agree with Andy M...depends on you budget plus you can also have the choice of the flavored champagne..i recommend Perrier-Jouet but for the finest Moet & Chandon is the best.
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:19 AM   #7
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I agree with Andy M...depends on you budget plus you can also have the choice of the flavored champagne..i recommend Perrier-Jouet but for the finest Moet & Chandon is the best.
That is your opinion, and that is what you should say.

I disagree. It all depends upon what type of Champagne you like -- OR sparkling wine. Perrier-Jouet comes in a beautiful bottle, and if you like a lighter style Champagne, it might be "the one" for you. I prefer Pol Roger NV Brut, or Charles Heidsieck NV Brut. And on the teensy occasions when money is no object, my all-time favorite Champagne is Krug.

But I also love Cava. My favorites are made by Segura Viudas. Codorniu makes a couple that are pretty easy to find and don't cost many $.

Then there's the lovely, domestic sparkling from New Mexico (yes, you read that right!) by Gruet. If you can find it on sale, it only costs $9.99, and it's never a whole lot more than that (altho it tastes expensive)
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:23 AM   #8
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for those who like champagne, do you actually notice a difference between the expensive and cheaper brands? i've had both (alot more of the cheap than expensive), and never really noticed a difference....or at least not a difference that would make me think one was of higher quality than the other....so, in general, what sets apart a higher end champagne from a $10 champagne?
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:53 AM   #9
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for those who like champagne, do you actually notice a difference between the expensive and cheaper brands? i've had both (alot more of the cheap than expensive), and never really noticed a difference....or at least not a difference that would make me think one was of higher quality than the other....so, in general, what sets apart a higher end champagne from a $10 champagne?
I'm not being "snooty," but if you can't taste the difference, then you either have not had "real" Champagne (I mean the beverage from the Champagne region of France, which, btw, is the only wine that IS Champagne, -- the rest are "sparkling wines" sometimes made in the Champagne style, but....) OR you are not sipping it.

When you taste "the good stuff," you'll know. Just happened to a good friend of mine a couple of weeks ago at his wedding celebration.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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so what sets good champagne apart? if you were doing a blind test with cheap and expensive brands, what would you look for to distinguish between the two? what qualities are worth paying more for?
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