Beer & Wine Wine

The 10 Best Cheap Champagnes to Drink in 2021

Affordable bottles of bubbly are in your future.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Wine is a staple of celebration, but in the department of rowdy merriment, no wine rises to the occasion like the almighty Champagne. And to be clear, you’ve got to take the word “Cheap” with a grain of salt when it comes to this list of 10 of the “Best Cheap” bottles I’d recommend. “Cheap Champagne,” if it’s also going to classify as “Best” in my world-view is anything under $50 or $60 per bottle, but not so low as about $25, unless it’s discounted—and if it is, lucky you!

The best Champagnes come from the best Champagne houses, which have access to the best vineyards, the best winemakers, and winemaking techniques passed down from generation to generation. You really can’t get that quality for much less than $40, again, unless frankly, it’s on sale. So, get with it! Pony up. We’re talking awesome bubbly here, from France. And one of the bottles featured on this list is Ruinart. Those of you who know Ruinart are thinking, ‘How?!’ Easy, I cheated and found a half-bottle up for grabs. 

I even asked Ruinart’s Chef de Caves (cellar master), Frédéric Panaïotis, to tell me what he thinks makes for a world-class bubbly, and he explained his thoughts through the lens of a bottle of Ruinart. “What I love most about our Ruinart Rosé is its versatility,” he opined—as a way of suggesting that the best Champagne is quite versatile—before adding, “Its lifted and fragrant nose of tropical fruits, fresh berries, sweet flowers makes it a great aperitif, as it will trigger your senses and prepare you for a wonderful meal, which makes it quite easy to pair throughout the meal—with appetizers, main course, and dessert.”

Echoing Panaïotis, Philippe André, Charles Heidsieck’s US brand ambassador says that “Champagne is pound for pound the greatest pairing wine you have never paired,” and he may be right if you haven’t enjoyed some champers alongside, as André suggests, “tacos, burgers, fried chicken, dim sum, ramen, French fries, and pizza. They all work because the balance of fruit, acidity and effervescence that makes Champagne so refreshing, pairs perfectly with some of the most intense flavors you can think of.”

Like André, most sommeliers will tell you that their go-to bottle after working the floor is Champagne. So, as Andre suggests, “Find you a wine that looks back at you the way Somms look at Champagne!”

Here are the best cheap bottles of Champagne to help you do just that. 

Best Overall: Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut

Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut

Image Source / Wine.com

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Citrus, Cherry, Apple, Brioche

To give you an idea of the longevity of Piper-Heidsieck’s reign as a coveted Champagne house, they’ve been adored and consumed by everyone from Marie Antoinette to Marilyn Monroe. They’ve had a centuries-long streak of never disappointing, which is pretty incredible to think about, but it’s even better to drink about.

Their Cuvee Brut is a majestic confluence of the big three champagne grapes (pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay). It’s rare that a Champagne this good can also count as affordable, but that’s the thing about Piper-Heidsieck, it’s full of wonderful surprises.

Read Next: The Best Champagne Glasses

Runner-up Best Overall: Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne

Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve

Image Source / Wine.com

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Bright Citrus, Crisp Minerality, Creamy Vibrant Mousse 

If Champagne wineries were children in a classroom, the Charles Heidsieck outfit would be the kid all the other kids want to copy their test answers from, the overachiever who always gets the gold star. This Champagne maker has more awards than shelf space and if you get a taste of their studious commitment to quality, you’ll understand why.

Trying their Brut Réserve Champagne—bold with ample, zesty acidity—is a great way to get to know the kid with all the answers. “Not many other wines at the price point provide early access (drinkability) along with a rewarding experience immediately,” says André “We at Charles Heidsieck take about two decades to create our flagship wine, the multi-vintage Brut Réserve.”

Read Next: The Best Champagnes

Best Brut: Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut

Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve Exclusive Brut

Image Source / Wine.com

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Toasty Brioche, Lemon Curd, Golden Delicious Apples, Nougat

Take a walk through the streets of Paris and you’ll run into Nicolas wine shops as often as you’d run into a Starbucks in New York. And gracing those Parisian shelves is quite typically bottles of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, which was founded on the mission of bringing delicious Champagne to the casual wine drinker. Well, Parisians have had their fill of the number one brand in France—now it’s your turn. Light, expressive, and aromatic, this award-winning brut encapsulates every value that Nicolas Feuillatte stands for.

Best Dry: Pol Roger Réserve Brut Champagne

Pol Roger Brut

Image Source / Wine.com

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Pear, Peach, Brioche

The Réserve Brut Champagne from Pol Roger is a trifecta of three varieties, coming together to make something exquisite, combining the qualities of pinot noir, chardonnay, and pinot meunier.

Aged four years and fermented in stainless steel vats, this golden straw-colored refresher makes for an ideal apéritif and drinks way, way about its pay grade. It’s the classiest Champagne with the driest sense of wit, and was long a favorite of Winston Churchill, which explains why they make a Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill, which is also worth seeking out!

Best For Mimosas: Jacquart Champagne Brut

Jacquart Champagne Brut

Image Source / Drizly

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Honey, Lemon, Peach, Biscuit

Chardonnay stomps a heavy 40-percent foot in the blend from Jacquart, with pinot noir and pinot meunier picking up the slack. Jacquart is one of the largest co-ops of growers in the Champagne region and they leverage only the best lots of grapes from their growers.

With its honeyed, toasted undertones, a glass of this is already halfway towards a complete and balanced breakfast, so the next time mimosas are on the menu, try Jacquart Champagne to squeeze the most flavor out of your orange juice (and also enjoy some on its own, because it’s that good.)

Best Rosé: Ruinart Brut Rosé Champagne (375ML half-bottle)

Ruinart Brut Rose

Image Source / Wine.com

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Red Currants, Ripe Raspberry, Tangy Orange Zest, Honey

The fact that half-bottles of world-class Champagnes exist at all means a wine like Ruinart can make a “Best Cheap Champagne” list but let’s be crystal clear: The price may fall into the “cheap” category, but the elixir inside—pure top shelf, upper-echelon bubbly!

Aside from being the world’s first official Champagne maker, Ruinart has only a few years to go before their 300th anniversary. When a wine producer of such pedigree and experience comes out with a rosé Champagne of this caliber, you’d be wise to take notice. This bottle is a kiss between pinot noir and chardonnay with some light floral notes, and gives new meaning to the phrase “hot pink.”

Read Next: The Best Sparkling Wines

Runner-up Best Rosé: Taittinger Prestige Rosé Brut Champagne

Taittinger Prestige Rose

Image Source / Drizly

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Strawberry, Raspberry, Orange, Buttered Toast

In the world of Champagne producers, Taittinger clocks in as third-oldest and third-largest, so when they scour their storybook vineyards for perfect grapes, they end up with an abundance of quality. Their Prestige Rosé Brut bottle is a crisp rosé blend with an orange-pink color and some enticing marzipan aromas. 

Tip: My favorite story to share—and one I’ve probably shared too often—is of meeting Monsieur Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger at his family’s Champagne house in Reims. By 10:30 a.m., we’d toured the famous chalk caves and tasted $500 worth of his beautiful Champagne, and I asked if he had any advice to future generations of wine drinkers. “A happy cellar is an empty cellar,” he told me. So, don’t hold too many bottles—drink up, drink often, and always with friends or family.  

Best Extra Dry: Cuvée Grand Esprit Marquis de la Mystèriale Extra Dry Champagne

Cuvée Grand Esprit Marquis de la Mysteriale Champagne

Image Source / Drizly

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12.5%
  • Tasting Notes: Robust Mousse, Candied Lemon Peel, Orchard Fruit, Caramelized Apples, Toffee

Maison de Grand Esprit’s winemaker, Florent Gauthier, has winemaking in his genes, being born and raised in Bordeaux into a family of winemakers many generations old. His expertise of the craft was enhanced by experience culled from time spent working on vineyards spanning four continents. When he produces a hearty-textured Champagne such as this extra dry bottle of Marquis de la Mystériale, the result is worth at least two bottles per bubbly session.

Best Sweet: Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial (Demi-Sec) Champagne

Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial Champagne

Image Source / Drizly

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Peach, Apple, Honey, Pineapple

Few champagne producers share the prestige, or the esteem of Moët & Chandon, an operation that’s been wowing wine drinkers in France and around the world since 1743. Their vineyards lie in the heart of the Champagne region, but that could be because Moët & Chandon is the heart of the Champagne region. If dessert wines are your pleasure, their Nectar Impérial bottle, a perfect marriage of fizzy and sweet, is not to be overlooked.

Read Next: The Best Sweet Wines

Best Party Bottle: Beau Joie Brut Champagne (Special Cuvée)

Beau Joie Brut Special Cuvee

Image Source / Drizly

  • Region: France, Champagne
  • ABV: 12%
  • Tasting Notes: Green Apple, Tangerine, Lemon, Toast

The recycled copper casing on this exciting bottle of brut Champagne from Beau Joie looks at first like a mere aesthetic choice but also serves the ingenious function of keeping the wine cooler for longer. It’s a great example of form and function living in harmony.

But what’s inside the bottle is just as magnetic: A pinot-forward Champagne with no added sugar that pairs well with cheese spreads and charcuterie, in other words, this champagne knows how to party, and it tastes like a $300 bottle.

Why Trust Liquor.com?

Jonathan Cristaldi has written about wine and spirits for over a decade. He regularly tastes wines from around the globe, and personally tasted every wine in this roundup, except for the NV Moët & Chandon Nectar Impérial. Cristaldi was named a "Wine Prophet" by Time Out New York for his witty and often avant-garde approach to wine education.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
Continue to 9 of 10 below.