Champagne Taste Test 2015

Six years ago, I wrote a post rating the best Champagne Under $15.  It still is one of my most popular posts.  I get a ton of comments on it six years later.  It only took 6 years, but we finally lost the bitter taste in our mouths from some of these cheap champagnes and it was time to do another tasting.  In fact, we decided to take it to another level…..the best Champagnes under $10.  As you know, price does not always translate to quality!

Champagne Taste Test 2015

The Contenders…..

 

Andre'Andre Brut – $5.99

J. Roget

J. Roget Spumante (all that they had at the store) – $6.49

Cook's Champagne

Cook’s Extra Brut – $8.99

Ballatore

Ballatore Spumante – $9.49

Freixenet

Freixenet Brut – $9.99

I am not a professional wine connoisseur by any means, however I do like to drink.  I have found over the years that my palette and taste for cheap champagne is shared by the masses.    Thus, if you like to drink and enjoy cheap champagne, this post is for you.  You can take it to the bank.  Ok, maybe not, so I had Dana put in her two cents.

Andre' Brut

First is the Andre Brut California Champagne.  The Andre has a nice clear champagne color.  It was rather disappointing popping the bottle by twisting off the cap.  However, nothing says baller like unscrewing your bubbly!  The bubbles were small to medium in size.  There were a moderate number of bubbles.  Overall, it is smooth and pleasant to the tongue.  It was very drinkable.  Dana says that this is real crowd pleaser. This is definitely a contender.  Although the taste is nice, the bottle is plain and the screw cap will make the ladies second guess your baller status.  Therefore, if you choose to serve this, you need to pour this in the kitchen and bring the glasses out to the party.  No joke, keep this bottle under wraps.

J. Roget

Second is J. Roget Spumante.  This champagne had absolutely no pop when you unscrewed the bottle.  Yep, another screw top.  Dana was not excited this time around.  Once you finally unscrew this gem of a champagne, you notice a nauseating smell that had notes of a burning metallic scent.  It only gets better from here.  It had a small amount of bubbles and a nice yellowish tinge.  All fine champagnes have a nice yellowish tinge, right?  Just like the J. Roget from six years ago, this one had a horrible taste. I guess the 2009 and the 2015 J. Roget suffered from the same bad grapes.  Dana gave the best description of this champagne….”It reminds me of tinkle in a glass”. However, I feel like that is a disservice to tinkle.  I honestly believe that J. Roget would taste better having traveled through somebody’s kidneys.  Maybe that is something the company can look into.

Cooks Brut

Third is Cook’s Extra Brut California Champagne.  This champagne was a sight for sore eyes after just spitting out the J. Roget.  The Cook’s had a real cork.  Who knew that you could get a real cork in a bottle of Sub-$10 champagne.  Well, I guess we all do now.  Yep, the Cook’s Champagne had a nice pop and sounded like what everyone envisions when opening champagne. Cook’s had a great champagne color and a pleasent flavor upfront.  However, it suffered from a slight bitter after taste.  However, after having the J. Roget, I really didn’t mind.  I needed to get that swill taste out of my mouth.  Therefore, a little bitter aftertaste was better than nothing.  The label was generic, but not too cheap looking.  With the addition of the real cork, this could be a front of the house champagne.  Not limited to pouring in the kitchen.

Bellatore Grand Spumante

Fourth was the Ballatore Grand Spumante.  I know that this is a Spumante and it’s going to be sweet, but that is all the local Food Lion had in stock.  By the way, if you want to get sub-$10 champagne, Food Lion is the place to go.  They had a wall of the stuff.  Back to the Ballatore, this stuff had a Fancy looking bottle and a real cork to boot.  No need to hide this one, it was nice.  Upon popping the Ballatore, you notice a nice clear champagne with large bubbles and an attractive, fruity smell.  However, this stuff is sweet.  Upon a single taste you will think you are drinking sparkling Boone’s Farm.  Yep, I went there.  This stuff is super sweet, but what did I expect, it is a Spumante.  However, knowing that, it wasn’t horrible.  If you like it sweet and cheap, this is the champagne for you!

Freixenet Brut

Fifth was the Freixenet Brut.  This one had a fancy name and a super sweet blacked out bottle. Definitely a show stopper.  If you are looking to impress a lady, gent, or both, this is the bottle you should get. Once again, we had a real cork.  Upon opening the Freixenet, we had the greatest pop of the night.  This stuff was under pressure and it was quite exciting to open.  This champagne had a great color, pretty bubble strands and a nice dry flavor.  I liked the dry taste, but Dana thought it was too dry.  Overall, this is a great champagne if you are looking for a dry, fancy, flavorful champagne.  Even if you are not, if you are looking to impress a nice lady or gent, this is the champagne for you.  You can proudly serve this champagne because it looks fancy, tastes fancy and like three of the other champagnes, does not taste and smell like a garbage dump.  You know who you are J. Roget.  Overall this champagne had a great flavor, excellent bubbles, a non-embarrassing label and a festive flavor.

The Ranking

 

5. J. Roget – Not bad if you can get past the horrible smell and flavor!

4. Cooks – A real cork, OK flavor, boring label.

3. Ballatore – Fancy bottle, super sweet, perfect for the ladies.

2. Freixenet – Super classy, nice dry flavor, not too shabby of a bottle.  I would call this the panty dropper champagne.  You want to impress, this is it.

1. Andre – The underdog with the screw top beat them all.  Yep, a two time winner!  Don’t ask don’t tell, but this shit is awesome!  If you don’t mind hiding and pouring this stuff in the kitchen, it is the best tasting of the bunch.  If you want a great tasting champagne that won’t break the bank, this is it.

I am not a professional wine connoisseur, but I like to drink.  I hope that you can use this to help you find the perfect cheap ass champagne for your new year’s party.

Happy New Year!  See you in 2016.

About Author

Rex

Rex is an avid griller, barbecuer and bacon enthusiast. He is the Pitmaster for the Rex BBQ competition team. Rex was also featured on the TV show American Grilled. If you have any questions or wish to have Rex decode your favorite dish, click on the ASK REX link in the menu above.

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