I am not a wine expert, nor do I want to be. Also not a super-taster (perhaps even a sub-taster). What can I expect to pay in € for a nice reliable champagne in a Paris restaurant? Would the prices be any different in Burgundy? We drink prosecco in Italy - something equivalent, but still champagne?
You can find Champagne for as cheap as €20 a bottle. Champagne simply refers to where the sparkling wine is made. It’s made from three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot meunière. You can find Cremant from many regions and that is just that regions sparkling wine. I like the Cremant from Bourgogne. Same grapes as champagne, but they can’t call it champagne because it’s not from there. You can find a good Cremant for €10 a bottle. These prices are in a grocery store. In a restaurant champagne will likely start at €40 for a cheap bottle.
Champagne is Champagne is Champagne. As April says, there are many other sparkling white wines available (and much enjoyed) in France, from lots of different regions, but they are not Champagne.
You can probably find a bottle of real Champagne for 16 or 17 euros a bottle if you look really hard; in the low €20s you start finding a few options, and as you get into the high €30s and €40s you will see names you recognize. (These are all prices at a store or shop - the markup in a restaurant will be much higher.)
I think, and this an assumption from experience rather than results from a statistical survey, that when French folks want a sparkling wine, they more often than not buy crémant. It's a fraction of the cost compared to Champagne.
A glass of Champagne generally runs in the 6€ to 10€ range in restaurants. You won't encounter crémant as often in restaurants because it's cheaper and doesn't provide the profit that Champagne does. You can get a bottle of decent crémant at a store for what many restaurants charge for a glass of Champagne. As for price comparisons, if you're in Paris or a destination such as Beaune, I think it's safe to assume you'll pay a similar amount. If, on the other hand, you venture out into more rural areas of Bourgogne (unlike most tourists) you will see lower prices.
The above, added for clarity -- the above two paragraphs in my own comment written by me and referring to no one else -- the above, I say, was written by someone (added for clarity: yours truly) wholly uneducated on the finer points of sparkling wine. I'm sure the Champagne aficionados are groaning and stifling laughter.
Thank you, Bob. This is the kind of answer I was looking for.
You can usually order bubbly by the glass as well. If you are really fond of it, consider a day trip (overnight - even better) to Reims, visit the cathedral, the basilica and tour 2-3 champagne caves with tastings, fun and interesting.
If you go for the "good stuff", expect to pay 12 EU or even 20 EU a glass.
If you want to go for the cheaper stuff, there's always a range - say, 5 EU or 7 EU a glass.
If you want to go for a bottle, there are ranges for them - say, 45 EU on up. This is because there is a huge price mark-up, especially in restaurants.
I'd go to the supermarket and get some cremant, or even champagne.
I paid €21 for a glass of champagne at Les Ombres. If I had known the cost beforehand I probably would have chosen something else, but it was my splurge lunch, I enjoyed every drop, and didn't let the cost spoil my enjoyment.
Champagne comes from the region of Champagne. In my house, about 75% of the "good stuff" is Champagne.
Prosecco comes from Italy.
It is not the same thing.
And Cave (cah-vay) is sparkling wine from Spain.
I enjoyed the mid-range champagne I tried in Reims (around 45 euro per bottle) but my favorite sparkling wine, the one I have at home, is a Prosecco that costs $10 a bottle. If you want to try Champagne in France, you will save quite a bit buying at a grocery store. Just chill it really well before opening and carefully pull the bottle from the cork rather than the other way around.
Sorry to seem uneducated in the niceties of cork extraction, Brad, but what possible difference could the direction of pull have in opening a bottle of Champagne? The physics of the process are clear that neither the cork nor the bottle has any "sense" of the direction the strain is coming from.
I've always wondered that too. But it is the procedure and probably for better control of a cork with force behind it in the bottle. Some fly off with force. You should have a cloth napkin over the cork and a glass close by. Hold the cork from above and rotate the bottle, pulling, until the cork comes out.
Otherwise, you can grab great-grandfather’s saber, go outside,have someone hold the bottle horizontal and slice through the neck with one swift blow. My husband always does the former but I’ve been to celebrations in France where a sword was used.
I need to add that once you’ve tasted a fine Champagne, such as Dom Perignon, and if you have even a little bit of palette, you’ll understand what the big deal is about. Cheap Champagne, Cava, Prosecco, Crémant de this or crémant de that are like drinking store brands compared to the best of the real thing. As Kim said, Champagne is Champagne is Champagne.
And, to take this even further, check your local liquor scene (grocery store, Costco, whatever) and see what's available and then pick something in Paris that you can't get. There is lots of Champagne production that's too small to ship to North America. (Hope I said that correctly)