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Can you help me choose a good Champagne for our 15 year anniversary? We are not wine or Champagne drinkers and are looking for something that is really good. Price not an object, but I don't want to overpay for something I will not appreciate.


- M

  Hi! Wow, that's a loaded question. First of all, happy anniversary! Okay, not to be argumentative, but price really is an object. You're absolutely right to not want to pay a lot for something you might not even like. We don't want that. We have had folks tell us that price doesn't matter, but then get offended when we suggest they spend fifteen dollars on a bottle, and others who turned up their noses at forty dollar bottles. It's all relative. Plus, we could recommend a Champagne that every critic on the planet agrees is the best, but if you don't like Champagne, you still won't like it. If your favorite thing to drink as a couple was pineapple vodka in sprite, well, that would be our first recommendation. Drink what you like! Krug Grande CuveeNicolas Feuillate Brut   You say you're not a Champagne drinker, so it's hard to know what you would appreciate. Would you say your tastes are more on the sweeter side or the drier side? Have you had any wines that you liked or didn't like? What was it about them that caught your attention? If we can narrow down your tastes a bit, we can surely find something special that you'll love. With that in mind, here are a few suggestions of sparklers we love at different prices. If you're looking for something more on the dry side (which would be our preference), try these. For less than $20, Roederer Estate Brut is great. It's from Anderson Valley in California, and carries the Roederer (the famous French Champagne house that makes Cristal) fingerprint. For about $30, try Nicolas Feuillate Brut. Actually from Champage, this never fails, and is the more light-bodied of our suggestions here - a good choice for you if you're not used to drinking Champagne. For around $50, one of our all-time faves is Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve. We still think it's a value at fifty bucks (even if you're not looking for a value). It's  just that classy. And if you really, really mean that price is no object, the way to go is Krug Grande Cuvee. This is world-class stuff. But that's only if you like dry Champagne. If you don't, what a waste of $150 that would be! We have some friends who can't get enough of sweeter wines, and there's nothing wrong with that. A big seller is Banfi Rosa Regale, a pinkish Italian sparkling wine that has a lovely sweetness. We often recommend Rosa Regale to moscato drinkers who want to adventure beyond their usual. Some trivia: the grape is actually called Brachetto (like brah-kett-oh). Another idea, if you want to keep your selection within Champagne, is to grab a Demi-Sec, which translates as "half-dry," but can be quite sweet. A favorite of ours is the Piper Heidseick. We don't know how soon your anniversary will arrive, but we have to get this in too: The ABSOLUTE BEST WAY to find a favorite Champage, wine, beer, whisky ... whatever ... is to taste. Check out our Events Page to see if there's anything coming up soon that might interest you, and keep an eye out for any chance to taste great stuff. You never know when that special bottle with catch your attention. Anyway, thanks for the great question!
- Binny's Mailbag