10 Best Champagnes Under $100 (2022)

Best Champagnes Under $100 Featured

Unique

There is no other drink in the world that matches Champagne. It is the thread that weaves its way through celebrations of births, coming of age, graduations, weddings, and anniversaries. It is synonymous with happy events and life’s celebratory moments. Ships need a bottle of Champagne before dipping their bows in the water for the first time. So, what makes it all so special?

First, when reading about Champagne take note of the upper case ‘C’. If it is not written in upper case, then it is not Champagne much like Kalamata Olives and Calamata Olives are not quite the same, but I can never remember which is the real one. Not so difficult with Champagne, the French will indignantly remind you if you stray from the path of truth.


Best Overall Best Value Best Rosé Best Semi-Sweet Best Sweet Best Brut Best Extra Dry Best For Weddings Best Moët Best Pink French
Bottle
Name Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne N.V. Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut Aÿ Champagne N.V. Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne N.V. Nectar Impérial (Demi-Sec) Rosé Champagne N.V. Veuve Clicquot Rich Champagne N.V. Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Brut Champagne Premier Cru N.V. Pol Roger Pure Extra Brut Champagne N.V. Ayala Blanc de Blancs Brut Aÿ Champagne Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Champagne Deutz Rosé Brut Champagne
Type Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne Champagne
Country France France France France France France France France France France
Grapes Chardonnay Pinot Meunier 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier Chardonnay 45% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Pinot Noir
Taste Green Apples, Lemon, Grapefruit, Buttery Biscuit, Floral Tones Raspberry, Strawberry, Apricot, Citrus, Spice Green Apple, Blood Orange, Peach, Toast Strawberry, Raspberry, Bread, Peach, Honey Sweet Pear, Apple Pie, Brioche, Cinnamon, Lemon Custard Pear, Peach, Apple, Lemon, Spice Green Apple, Apricot, Peach, Brioche, Mineral Notes Peach, Honey, Green Apples, Vanilla, Nectarine Baked Apple, Vanilla, Brioche, Lemon, Grapefruit Strawberry, Peach, Raspberry, Red Currant, Brioche
Food Pairing Sushi, Oysters, Halibut, Fried Chicken Shellfish, Lobster, Shrimp, Lemon Curd, Butter Biscuits Lemon Herb Salmon, Grilled Prawns, Fruit Dessert, Brie Cheese Asian Cuisine, Spicy Dishes, Lamb Tagine, Chocolate Dessert Chocolate Torte, Pudding, Cheesecake, Custard Tart Fried Chicken, Grilled Prawns, Light Fish, Mac & Cheese Tempura Sushi, Fish & Chips, Smoked Salmon, Fish Tacos Prawn Risotto, Lobster Rolls, Breaded Mushrooms, Deviled Eggs Filet Mignon, Sushi, Oysters, Asian Cuisine Grilled Salmon, Tuna Tartare, Delicate Cheeses
Alcohol Content 12.5% 12% 12% 12% 12% 12.5% 12.5% 12% 12.5% 12%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Semi-Sweet Sweet Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
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Clever advertising

For example, there are many instances where wine is turned into champagne in much the same way as it is done in the Champagne area of France – but, it is not Champagne! Clever advertising people have come up with names hopefully encapsulating the same celebratory nuances of Champagne and there are some particularly good ones.

At the inauguration of President Obama sparkling wine was served and it was a South African sparkling wine which that country refers to as Method Cap Classic. Made in the identical way to Champagne just in a different place.

What an Accident!

The birth of Champagne was purely accidental and relied on a particularly cold winter that put the yeast in the bottled wine to sleep, only for it to reawaken in the spring and to cause the weaker bottles to explode. The stronger bottles survived and as the legend goes, resulted in Don Perignon inviting his friends around to ’drink the stars.’

But before we get to the best champagne under $100 remember to toast the ladies first as it was Madame Clicquot who banked her whole inheritance on being able to sustain her vineyard and today the label that bears her name sells almost one and a half million cases of her bubbles.


Best Champagnes Under $100

Best Overall

  • Name — Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Winery — Ruinart
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Pear, Lemon, Grapefruit, Peach, Cashew
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Green Apples, Lemon, Grapefruit, Buttery Biscuit, Floral Tones
  • Alcohol Content — 12.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Sushi, Oysters, Halibut, Fried Chicken
Overall Rating: 5.0

Positives
  • Buttery And Creamy
  • Long Finish
  • Delicate Bubbles
Negatives
  • Slightly Acidic For Some People

Centuries of History

In 1729 the first House of Champagne was established by Nicolas Ruinart, a draper. Following encouragement from his Benedictine monk Uncle he launched his ‘wine with bubbles’ in 1730. Initially given as presents for his more important customers, the wine became so popular that he discarded his drapery enterprise in 1735 and launched his Champagne business which still flourishes almost three hundred years later. In 1768 Claude Ruinart purchased eight kilometers of Gallo Roman chalk quarries or in French, ‘crayeres’ and so began the history of storing Champagne in the underground chalk chambers.

How Is It Done

This Champagne is made from one hundred percent chardonnay grapes that are sourced primarily from two areas, Cote des Blancs and Montagne de Reims. They are blended with twenty to twenty-five percent of reserved wine from the previous two harvests. The wine is made in stainless steel tanks. Nitrogen gas is used to keep oxygen away from the wine and once bottled the wine undergoes a long maturation, down in the coolness of the crayeres.

Tasting Notes

A low dosage results in the Champagne having a distinctive flintiness. The introduction is one of citrus-like lemons and grapefruit and then blends into a floral mid-tone of floral fruits and jasmine. As a result of the three years of aging, the Champagne boasts a creaminess that balances its acidity, resulting in a wonderfully satisfying texture hinting at buttery biscuit notes. Followed by a long finish.


Best Value

  • Name — Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut Aÿ Champagne N.V.
  • Winery — Bollinger
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Lemon, Peer, Apple, Poppy Seed, Gooseberry
  • Grapes — Pinot Meunier
  • Taste — Raspberry, Strawberry, Apricot, Citrus, Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Shellfish, Lobster, Shrimp, Lemon Curd, Butter Biscuits
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Lovely Acidity
  • Well-Balanced
  • Generous Texture
Negatives
  • Short Finish

The Bollinger Company

This Champagne sparkles with a bright and golden sheen. The Bollinger Company goes to great lengths to explain why their Champagne is so different from other mainstream Champagne producers. They own a significantly higher proportion of vineyards than most Champagne Houses and that allows them to secure almost sixty percent of their fruit needs. This allows for greater control and subsequent consistency.

The maturation process involves a substantially longer time on the lees, and this results in a Champagne of great creaminess. Other factors that serve to set this Champagne apart from its competitors are the storage of reserve wine in magnums as opposed to steel tanks and the fact that they use over three and a half thousand oak barrels.

Enter a New Lead

Chardonnay is relegated to providing only twenty-five percent of the wine for this Champagne. Pinot Noir holds center stage in the Bollinger theater and makes around sixty percent of the volume for this Champagne, assisted in the minor placings with a fifteen percent contribution of Pinot Meunier. The aroma is complex with toasted brioche and soft citrus fruit greeting the nose. The fruit is a subtle collection of apricot and white peach with a balance of toasted biscuit and walnuts.


Best Rosé

  • Name — Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne N.V.
  • Winery — Billecart-Salmon
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Raspberry, Ripe Cherry, Tangerine, Lemon Zest, Apple
  • Grapes — 40% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Meunier
  • Taste — Green Apple, Blood Orange, Peach, Toast
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Lemon Herb Salmon, Grilled Prawns, Fruit Dessert, Brie Cheese
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Elegant Aroma
  • Refreshing Backbone
  • Vivid Acidity
Negatives
  • Slightly Bitter Finish

Piece of Art

There is romance to this Champagne and a whole lot more. When Nicholas Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon got married, they did more than celebrate with Champagne. They decided to open the House of Billecart-Salmon Champagne. Later the brother of Elizabeth joined them, and the House of Billecart-Salmon has been kept in the family for over two hundred years. This rose has become the flagship of the House from the time of its creation in the 1970s.

It is a blend of Chardonnay, (fifty percent), Pinot Meunier, (ten percent), and Pinot Noir, (forty percent). The aroma is pure and fresh, dominated by raspberries and summer fruits. The palate is graced with a delicate balance of elegant citrus and berries. In the late 1950’s Jean Roland Billecart introduced a longer fermentation process, coupled with lower vinification temperatures. This has resulted in a superb freshness about this Champagne that lingers with the delights of a wonderful finish.

Back to Nature

Apart from being possibly the best tasting Champagne under $100, be inspired by the fact that Billecart- Salmon House has made the brave decision to resort to time-honored traditional agricultural methods, using horses and sheep to add a healthy and nostalgic element to this great Champagne.


Best Semi-Sweet

  • Name — Nectar Impérial (Demi-Sec) Rosé Champagne N.V.
  • Winery — Moët & Chandon
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Strawberry, Almond, Rhubard, Rose Petal, Cut Grass
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Strawberry, Raspberry, Bread, Peach, Honey
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Semi-Sweet
  • Pairing — Asian Cuisine, Spicy Dishes, Lamb Tagine, Chocolate Dessert
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Beautiful Color
  • Vibrant And Fresh
  • Subtle And Complex
Negatives
  • Maybe Too Sweet For Some People

Moët and Chandon

Moët and Chandon is the biggest Champagne house in the world and produces a mind-boggling thirty million bottles of Champagne a year. Think about it, in the time it takes to read this, sixty bottles of perfect bubbles are produced. Seventeen miles of storage tunnels are needed to accommodate their production. It has to be one of the best Champagne brands under $100.

Founded by the Dutch brothers Jean and Nicolas Moët (the correct pronunciation is ‘Mo wet’) who established themselves in France in the 1400s. In 1832 Pierre-Gabriel Chandon de Briailles joined the descendants of the brothers and in 1973 Domaine Chandon established itself in the Napa Valley.

What Makes This Champagne So Special?

The aroma of swirling summer fruits lead to a fruit-filled introduction of yellow peaches that so subtly blends into ripe strawberries and lingering red berries. The mouthfeel is sublimely smooth and creamy. Caramel blended with the soft spice of nutmeg herald the long finish together with a redcurrant finale.

A rich basket of summer aromas greets the senses. They fill the nose with scents of redcurrants, fresh strawberries, blackcurrants, and blackberries. Pinot Noir is the major player here representing between forty-five to fifty-five percent of the volume. Meunier lends a fruit supporting role with a generous contribution between thirty-five to forty-five percent. To ensure an enticing freshness Chardonnay completes the trio of stars.


Best Sweet

  • Name — Veuve Clicquot Rich Champagne N.V.
  • Winery — Veuve Clicquot
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Pineapple, Mango, Orange, Honey, Ginger
  • Grapes — 45% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 15% Chardonnay
  • Taste — Sweet Pear, Apple Pie, Brioche, Cinnamon, Lemon Custard
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Sweet
  • Pairing — Chocolate Torte, Pudding, Cheesecake, Custard Tart
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Rich And Complex
  • Really Sweet
  • Great Body Structure
Negatives
  • Lacks A Bit Of Acidity

Made For Mixing

This Champagne has been created to be blended with fruit. Here you can express your individualism and fill your glass with your personal favorite fruit. Pineapple, cucumber, peppers, or simply, ice. This Champagne is made up of a blend of forty-five percent Pinot Noir, forty percent Meunier and (always there for the fruit) fifteen percent Chardonnay. What sets this Champagne apart is the extra dosage of sixty grams per liter.

Contagious Aroma

The aroma is a contagious mix of late summer flowers and delicate citrus tones coupled with a mixture of white and red fruits and a hint of yeast. The taste follows the route of the aroma and fills the mouth with the gourmand notes of the Meunier laying a rich foundation for the fruitiness of the Pinot Noir. Chardonnay adds a customary elegance and luscious fruit to the wine. The wine benefits from a minimum of twelve months of maturation in the bottle together with the lees. A wonderful, easy and relaxed Champagne to be enjoyed without any formality.


Best Brut

  • Name — Vilmart & Cie Grand Cellier Brut Champagne Premier Cru N.V.
  • Winery — Vilmart & Cie
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Lemon, Pear, Apple, Grapefruit, Toast Bread, Minerals
  • Grapes — 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Pear, Peach, Apple, Lemon, Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 12.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Fried Chicken, Grilled Prawns, Light Fish, Mac & Cheese
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Great Structure
  • Very Smooth
  • Refreshing
Negatives
  • A Bit Too Citrusy

Harmonious Sensation

Vilmart is a family-run Champagne House stretching back five generations. The estate was destroyed during the Second World War. Renan Vilmart, the grandson of the founder Desire Vilmart, rebuilt the House. There is an inviting luminosity about this Champagne. A delicate shade of lemon coupled with a glistening green hue. The taste is a harmonious sensation of creaminess and a silky-smooth texture.

Surprise the Taste Buds

The Champagne follows the traditional approach and relies on a seventy percent foundation of Chardonnay supporting a thirty percent contribution of Pinot Noir. There is a lovely combination of aromas to excite the taste buds. A bouquet of lilacs, honeysuckles, and a little citrus blend together with the nuance of butter and cream. The tasting surprises with notes of lemongrass and spicy ginger provide a welcome freshness and delicate balance with the summer fruits.

The wine has a long-lasting mousse and a fine quality of acidity that pervades right into the long and satisfying finish. The fruit spectrum touches delicately on pear and slivered almonds, peaches, and springtime blossoms. The slightly mineral quality of the finish is clean and satisfying being vibrant and harmonious with a lingering nostalgic memory of grapefruit.


Best Extra Dry

  • Name — Pol Roger Pure Extra Brut Champagne N.V.
  • Winery — Pol Roger
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Brioche, Almond, Pear, Citrus, Honey, Rose Petals
  • Grapes — Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay
  • Taste — Green Apple, Apricot, Peach, Brioche, Mineral Notes
  • Alcohol Content — 12.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Tempura Sushi, Fish & Chips, Smoked Salmon, Fish Tacos
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Delicious And Refreshing
  • Well-Balanced Acidity
  • Underlying Citrus Tones
Negatives
  • A Little Bit Flat

Aged to Perfection

This Champagne is one of the latest to emerge from the House of Pol Roger. First brought out in 2008 it is a non-vintage combination of the three traditional wines in equal quantity. The Champagne distinguishes itself by the absence of any dosage. A truly natural Champagne. The individual varietals undergo fermentation separately in stainless steel tanks at controlled temperatures (18C). After blending, the secondary fermentation takes place in the coolness of the underground cellar.

A Generous Depth

The aromas develop from the initial notes of flowers and cloves blending gradually with citrus and yeast resulting in a fresh and lively bouquet. There is a crispness about this Champagne. Well-structured and with generous depth the supporting flavors of honey and cloves make for an impressive length of flavor.


Best For Weddings

  • Name — Ayala Blanc de Blancs Brut Aÿ Champagne
  • Winery — Ayala
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Green Apple, Peach, Brioche, Toast, Honey
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Peach, Honey, Green Apples, Vanilla, Nectarine
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Prawn Risotto, Lobster Rolls, Breaded Mushrooms, Deviled Eggs
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Elegant And Crisp
  • Very Unique
  • Perfect Balance
Negatives
  • Finish Could Be Longer

Crème de la Crème

Weddings are a celebration steeped in love, happiness, and a promise of future bliss. So, the celebratory toast should be one filled with all these qualities and perhaps a little more. Ayala Blanc de Blancs Brut does more than satisfy these criteria. Weddings are integrated in the history of Ayala. Edmond de Ayala married the daughter of the Viscount of Mareuil in 1860 and as a wedding gift, the Viscount gave the couple the Chateau Ay together with a collection of prime vineyards.

Made from one hundred percent Chardonnay, specially selected from top quality vineyards of the Cote des Blancs, the result is a Champagne rich with a delicate abundance of bubbles dancing through the bright pale straw-colored wine. The bouquet is a combination of freshness and delicacy. White fruits and lemony citrus combine with the subtle fragrance of frangipani and ripe yellow plums.

A Lengthy Aging Brings Some Raciness

The six years of aging on the lees result in a most remarkable minerality that embraces a wide range of food pairings and makes this the best Champagne under $ 100 for wedding celebrations. The smooth and silky texture swirls around, while the fresh notes of subtle citrus and the minerality ensure a long and pleasing finish.


Best Moët

  • Name — Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Brut Champagne
  • Winery — Moët & Chandon
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Apple, Apricot, Lemon, Brioche, Toast
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Baked Apple, Vanilla, Brioche, Lemon, Grapefruit
  • Alcohol Content — 12.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Filet Mignon, Sushi, Oysters, Asian Cuisine
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Balanced Flavor
  • Full Body
  • Soft Bubbles
Negatives
  • Relatively Flat

Consistency

This Champagne House has spread around the world and is easily one of the most recognized names in the Champagne world. This is largely a result of the expansive management of Jean-Remy Moët in the late 1700s. Today the influence of this House is felt in California, Argentina, and as far afield as China and India. Moët and Chandon are able to draw from over eight hundred parcels of vines which provides the blenders a generous opportunity to produce remarkable consistency year after year.

A Low Dosage Rewards

The three traditional cultivars are blended in different percentages in different vintages. Chardonnay holds the dominant role supported primarily with Pinot Noir and Meunier maintaining a minor presence. The pale wine dances with bright and delicate bubbles producing an extremely fine mousse. Aromas of flowers and white fruit with a little toast greet the nose. As a result of the comparatively low 5g/l dosage, the minerality is crisp and tangy with the taste of citrus and an almost honey flavor to balance the acidity and ensure a distinguished finish.


Best Pink French

  • Name — Deutz Rosé Brut Champagne
  • Winery — Deutz
  • Country/Region — France, Champagne
  • Type — French Champagne
  • Aroma — Grapefruit, Toast, Red Apple, Strawberry, Blood Orange
  • Grapes — Pinot Noir
  • Taste — Strawberry, Peach, Raspberry, Red Currant, Brioche
  • Alcohol Content — 12%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Salmon, Tuna Tartare, Delicate Cheeses
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
    Negatives

      History

      A delicate rose from one of the oldest Champagne Houses in France. It was founded in 1838 by wine merchants, William Deutz and Pierre-Hubert Geldermann. The house remained in the family until it was purchased by the Rouzaud family in 1983. This is a beautiful host to any celebration with family and friends.

      Fruity Taste

      The freshness of the wine is assured by the first fermentation taking place in stainless steel tanks. Subsequent maturation on the fine lees lasts two years and ensures a subtle smoothness and delightful creaminess. A lovely pale salmon color introduces the seductive aromas of pink grapefruit, biscuits cherry, and strawberry. The taste is of fresh strawberries and raspberries. There is an admirable balance of acidity with the fruit resulting in a smooth finish of great finesse.

      Conclusion

      Champagne holds center stage in celebratory drinks. The complex chemistry involved in the transition from grape juice to the magic of bubbles glistening in celebration of life’s happier moments imbue it with a sense of awe. Certainly, Don Perignon was so accurate in his innovative invitation to ‘drink the stars.’ And with that thought in mind, Cheers!

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