The Perfect Champagne to Pour and Gift During June’s Celebrations

Photo by Alison Bernier Photography

We’re in the throes of seasonal celebrations—from graduations and weddings to summer kick-off parties and beach soirees. Sparkling wine is a requisite, but I must admit choosing the right one can be challenging. I’m always afraid it might not salute the occasion enough unless I drop big coin. So I sought the expertise of some acclaimed sparkling wine buyers from some of Orange County’s top wine shops. I presented them with budget parameters of $15, $25, and under $50, and asked them to share why they picked the specific wines. Whether you’re looking for a bottle to gift or to enjoy, these eight will give you maximum bang for your buck.

Veuve Du Vernay NV ($11)

“Our store’s most reliable sparkler, and a great everyday option for those who love bubbles. For the price, Veuve Du Vernay offers fantastic quality that hits all the markers people search for in Champagne—crisp texture, creamy mousse, apple, and citrusy flavors.” —Edwinn Ferrer, Wine Lab Camp

Ligier Pere & Fils Brut Cremant Du Jura ($15)

“One of my favorite non-Champagnes!  Made from low-yield vines planted on the lower slopes of the Jura Mountains in far eastern France, this 100 percent chardonnay bubbly is exceedingly fresh and crisp. It is brimming with pear and citrus notes.  A whole lot of flavor interest and soul for the money!”—Veronica Castro, Hi-Time Wine Cellars

Juvé y Camps “Reserva de la Família” Brut Nature Cava NV ($17)

“This is a fantastic bargain that drinks like a much more expensive bottle.  A beautiful dry cava with notes of yellow apple and toasted bread, it delivers the deliciousness of what Champagne lovers love, at a fraction of the cost.”—Sasha DeJaynes, LCA Wine

Graham Beck Brut NV ($16)

“Being from South Africa’s warmer climate, this Champagne-style sparkler offers a riper, more robust fruit profile. It offers lower levels of acidity and a slightly fuller body compared to its classic French counterparts.”—Edwinn Ferrer, Wine Lab

 

Photo by Veronica Castro

Jansz Tasmania Premium Sparkling Rosé NV ($22)

“This delightful sparkling rosé is from the island of Tasmania off the coast of Australia, which actually has an ideal climate for producing vivid, bright sparkling wines. A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier, it has a pale salmon color with a fine bead, a rich floral bouquet of strawberries, with a soft and creamy palate.”—Sasha DeJaynes, LCA Wine

Moutard Brut Grande Cuvee NV ($25)

“A true Champagne, and truly delicious. Especially for the price!  Headquartered in Epernay, Aubert Et Fils Brut is a classic blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier that represents one of the best buys we have encountered from Champagne in a very long time. Pleasantly crisp with fragrant notes, fruit and toasty aromas backed with hints of chalk dust and truffles. Balanced to work with or without food, this is simply a wonderfully crafted Champagne.”—Veronica Castro, Hi-Time Wine Cellars

Chateau de Léoube Sparkling NV ($39)

“This phenomenal producer of Provence rosé makes this truly exceptional traditional-method sparkling wine from 100 percent cabernet franc. Delicate and elegant, it is balanced and fresh with a lovely minerality, and its beautifully packaged exterior makes it an impressive gift.”—Sasha DeJaynes, Wine Lab

Marc Hebrart Brut Cuvee de Reserve NV ($42)

“Last summer, I had the pleasure of visiting the Champagne house of Marc Hebrart, run by the ever-charming Jean-Paul Hebrart. The wines are light and airy, and his Cuvee de Reserve kind of feels like catching snowflakes on your tongue. It’s 82 percent pinot noir and 18 percent chardonnay. It is streamlined, elegant, silky, and vibrant. Pure chalk soils!”—Veronica Castro, Hi-Time Wine Cellars

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