Ray Isle names an excellent basic Champagne, plus four super-value alternatives.
Q: What's a good Champagne that doesn't cost a lot?
A: A reasonably affordable bottling that I like is the NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve Particulière ($36). But for even more value options, check out the sparkling wines below.
Best Value Sparkling Wines:
2008 CJR Reginato Blanc de Blancs ($15)
NV Jeio Cuvée Rosé Brut ($18)
Floral notes and a nice citrus zippiness mark this rosé from the Veneto in Italy.
2007 Gramona Gran Cuvée Cava ($20)
Cavas are slightly earthy, with a light lemon-lime character; Gramona is a leading producer.
NV J Cuvée 20 Brut ($22)
One of Sonoma's top names in sparkling wine makes this lemony, lightly toasty bottling.
Article updated November 2011.
More Wine Tips:
Mark Oldman on Champagne Alternatives: