Champagne is the ultimate celebration wine, but its premium price tag can sometimes be intimidating. To help make sure you’re shelling out for the right bottle, we’ve compiled a list of the best Champagnes to buy right now, whether your special occasion splurge is well over $100 or taps out at $50.

The bottles on this list range from classic blends made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier; to sparkling rosés and blanc de blancs. Prices stretch from a reasonable $44 for entry-level, non-vintage bubbles, to $100 and up for premium vintage offerings and prestige cuvees.

All bubbles here were judged non-blind by VinePair’s tasting panel. Because we taste wines regularly, and we think sipping Champagne should be a year-round experience, we continually update this ranking. That means we regularly add new bottles, but also, occasionally, have to remove previous favorites whose current releases don’t match up to prior incarnations.

Here is VinePair’s list of the best Champagnes to buy right now, last updated on December 22, 2021.

$50 and Under

Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut ($44)

Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

A pleasant herbaceous note mingles with aromas of pastry and lemon zest on the nose of this high-quality, entry-level Champagne. The palate is light but has a good concentration of green apple flavors. Its finish is crisp with a faint mineral texture. Piper-Heidsieck continuously sticks out to our panel as the sub-$50 bubbly you should be buying. (Added bonus: It’s the official Champagne of the Oscars.)

Alfred Gratien Brut ($50)

Alfred Gratien Brut is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

Krug, a Champagne adored by industry professionals, is known for its high price tag and savory characteristics. For those wanting to try the popular brand but don’t want to break the bank, Alfred Gratien’s savory, briny flavors mirror those of the somm-approved brand — for less than a third of the price. It’s aromatic, highly expressive, slightly geeky, and well-worth the spend.

Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve ‘White Foil’ NV ($50)

Champagne Pol Roger Brut Reserve 'White Foil' NV is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

This fruit-forward Champagne has a clean, mineral-driven profile, followed by a sprinkling of freshly baked pastries, and a luxurious, velvety texture on the palate. This would be a great choice for Prosecco-lovers looking to get into Champagne.

Under $75

Telmont Réserve Brut ($60)

Telmont Réserve Brut is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

This highly aromatic bubbly is rich with savory, herbaceous notes balanced beautifully with tart fruit and sweet, decadent brioche. A wine clearly made for aficionados, Temont presents all the information that knowledgeable Champagne-lovers might seek — including dosage and disgorgement dates — right on its front label.

Drappier Champagne Brut Nature Zero Dosage NV ($63)

Drappier Champagne Brut Nature Zero Dosage NV is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

This bone dry, Pinot Noir-driven wine has a strong presence on the nose, overflowing with autumnal scents of sour pears, apples, and cinnamon. On the palate, zesty lemon and floral notes come through. A fried food pairing would fatten this wine up — beer-battered onion rings, anyone?

Champagne Louis Roederer Collection 242 ($65)

Champagne Louis Roederer Collection 242 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

Savory on the nose with a good grip on the palate, this bottling impressed our panel with its delicate perlage, which makes for a very satisfying mouthfeel. This is not a fruity Champagne, but rather a refined, acid-driven wine that offers a great value for the price.

Champagne Valentin Leflaive CV 17 50 (NV) ($65.99)

Champagne Valentin Leflaive CV 17 50 (NV) is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

This 100 percent Chardonnay Champagne has a nice, savory quality on the nose. Its terroir-driven palate will please grower Champagne drinkers, along with a funkiness to wake up the senses. This is a bubbly to sip throughout the day. Pull it out for aperitif hour; this is a wine to please a crowd.

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2013 Rosé ($69.99)

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2013 Rosé is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

A saline pink wine, this offering from the popular brand is a great value for the price, with a peppery, herbaceous character and a grip on the palate. While it can certainly be drunk on its own, this Champagne would be especially good with food — something briny like oysters or crudo would be most delicious.

Under $100

Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Brut ($82)

Champagne Gosset Grand Rosé Brut is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

Fruity yet savory, this brut rosé from the oldest wine producer in Champagne is ripe with aromas of rose petals, agave, and jammy, red fruits. It has a racy, energizing flavor, with fizziness that lingers on the palate. With its vibrant pink hue, this wine looks as good in the glass as it tastes.

Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs ($85)

Perrier-Jouët Blanc de Blancs is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

Sharp, ripe, and juicy, this blanc de blanc has a bright, citrusy flavor and a floral bouquet on the nose. Nice acidity makes this wine lively on the palate with a soft, silky texture. Ideal for gifting a party host, this bottle offers a great value from an iconic Champagne house.

Champagne Ayala Le Blanc de Blancs 2015 ($90)

Champagne Ayala Le Blanc de Blancs 2015 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

A classic blanc de blancs, this sparkler has an inviting, cheesy aroma, with an ideal balance on the palate. Its acidity is just right, with residual sugars calmed down by effervescent bubbles. For a vintage Champagne, its price is right, and its quaffable characteristics make it worth the spend.

Champagne Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé ($99.99)

Champagne Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

With bright, fruity aromas, this rosé Champagne tastes like a buttery croissant topped with strawberry jam. The bubbles are present yet subtle, lending a satisfying, mouthwatering pop on the palate. With appetizers or even alongside a fancy brunch, this wine would perform beautifully. Reach for the familiar bottle and you won’t be disappointed.

Over $100

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon 2008 ($240)

Champagne Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon 2008 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

This vintage rosé Champagne from Billecart-Salmon has bold brioche flavors, a creamy texture, and impressive perlage. Notes of bright strawberries and fresh watermelon are kept in check by ripe acidity, resulting in a balanced and elegant wine. One of the oldest expressions on this list, this 2008 pink bubbly remains bright and youthful — and is very worth the splurge.

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2012 ($155)

Champagne Bollinger La Grande Année 2012 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

A vintage wine not lacking in character, this Champagne leans toward savory flavors rather than fruity ones — giving off intriguing notes of dill, lemon, and capers. It’s creamy on the palate, rounded on the edges, and is still evolving in the bottle. You could lay this down to age for a few more years, but it’s drinking beautifully now — especially alongside salty snacks.

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2011 ($204)

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2011 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

With a near-perfect balance between residual sugar and bright fruit — plus a soft brioche quality — this Champagne is inviting on the nose and clean on the palate. With the added complexity gained from both lees and in-bottle aging, this is a beautiful, complex wine with soft bubbles that let its pastry notes shine.

Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2013 ($279)

Champagne Louis Roederer Cristal 2013 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

Honeyed, clean, and endlessly refreshing, Cristal is distinguished for a reason: it’s liquid gold in a glass. If you’re going to ball out on a Champagne, this is the one to go for. It’s delicious, crowd-pleasing, luxurious, and pairs phenomenally with a wide variety of foods — from sushi to soufflés.

Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2007 ($300)

Champagne Bollinger R.D. 2007 is one of the best Champagnes of 2021

This 2007 Bollinger smells brilliant on the nose, with aromas of creamy sherry and French vanilla bursting from the glass. Almost 15 years of aging has imparted a decadence and depth to this wine, bringing in a sweet nuttiness that invites you back for another sip. This bottle would make for a most exceptional gift or one to save for extra special occasions.

The article The Best Champagne Right Now (UPDATED 2021) appeared first on VinePair.