Since today is New Years Eve I wanted to do a little Champagne Taste Test.  I like to drink a lot of champagne, so I like to go with quantity.  Thus, all of the bottles are less than $15.  As you know, price does not always translate to quality!

The Cheap Stuff
The Cheap Stuff

The Contenders…..


Andre Brut – $4.99

J. Roget
J. Roget

J. Roget Brut – $5.99


Cook’s Brut – $7.99


Korbel Brut – $9.99

Domaine Ste. Michelle
Domaine Ste. Michelle

Domaine Ste. Michelle – $13.99

I am not a professional wine connoisseur, but I do like to drink.  I have found 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.

First is the Andre Brut California Champagne.  The Andre has a nice clear color.  With a twist-off cap, you fail to get the pop and excitement of opening a champagne bottle. 🙁   The bubbles are few but rather big compared to the rest.  Overall it is smooth and pleasant to the tongue.  Very drinkable.  Dana says that you could polish off a bottle in an instant.  So smooth and tasty.  No burning after taste or plastic-like taste.  To be honest,  wrap this puppy up in a towel and your friends will never know that you spent $4.99.

Second is J. Roget Brut American Champagne.  This champagne had a ton of bubbles up front yet brought nothing to the party.  Besides the lack of bubbles, it suffered from a horrible yellowish tinge.  On a positive note, it had a terrible plastic taste.  Joking, that was negative.   Not to be all negative, it had a fancy label.

Third is Cook’s Brut California Champagne.  Happy birthday to Cook’s, the bottle informed me that they are celebrating 150 years getting America drunk.  Cook’s was full of bubbles that lasted throughout the glass.  While drinking it, I noticed that it had a nice color and lacked the plastic taste that J. Roget left in my mouth.  For that, I was happy.  Overall it was smooth, had a nice flavor (tad bit fruity with bright tones), exceptional bubbles and a fancy label that would not require the towel wrapping required by The Andre.

Fourth was the Korbel.  I thought I loved Korbel, then I tasted it with the other champagnes and realized that in fact, I did not like it.  It is like going to Atlantic City and then taking a trip to Las Vegas.  You thought AC was awesome since it was all that you have ever known.   After just flying into Vegas, you realize how pathetic AC is.  Yep, Korbel is the Atlantic City of Champagne.

Fifth was Domaine Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Sparkling Wine.  With a fancy name and bottle, this champagne did not disappoint.  You can proudly serve this champagne because it looks fancy, tastes fancy and like three of the other champagnes, does not taste like plastic.  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


Happy New Year

5. Korbel – Bitter after-taste, just not good.

4. J. Roget – Plastic, but somehow better than Korbel

3. Domaine Ste. Michelle – $13 Ritzy but still couldn’t outperform $4.99 classy.

2. Cook’s – There is a reason that they are having a 150 year anniversary.  The stuff is tasty.

1. Andre – The underdog with the plastic cork beat them all.  Don’t ask don’t tell, but that shit is awesome.

Hopefully, I spelled everything correctly, as I just downed 5 bottles of champagne.  I am going to have one hell of a hangover.  I hope you guys find this post helpful in ringing in the New Year without losing your hard earned dollars.  Happy New Year and see you in 2010.  Check out our New Years 2015 Champagne Taste test here.

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.


  1. Happy new year! I'll be enjoying some Proseco at midnight and I'll toast to you! 🙂

  2. Hilarious, full of great one liners, like "Korbel is the AC of champagne". I doubt they'll be using that slogan this year though:)

  3. Next time add Cristalino to the list. It's always under $10 and not bad at all.

    • Will do Tracey, I did not see that at the store when I went, but I will keep my eyes posted for it.

  4. Nice test. Have to try Andre. Stuck with J. Roget so far, which has plenty of bubbles for me, even after a day in the fridge open with no cap or anything (well, yeah, sometimes you don't finish the bottle)
    Anyway, just wondering where in the world you have to pay $5.99 for the Roget stuff. I just paid $3.99 ($3.75 if I buy a dozen) and thought they got a bit pricey, as I used to buy them for $2.75/ea for a dozen.

  5. J. Roget Plastic taste you say? Don't find that to be detectable. I will say at times you'll come across an outstanding bottle time to time.It's not right that for this price a bubbly can compete with the big boys.Andre seems to be the flat left over in the bottom of the glass reserve.See the movie "Bottle shock" this chap put the west coast vinyards on the map way back when,cheers Vinny

  6. GREAT GREAT REVIEW…What about Frexinet? Where does the black bottle fit in?

  7. Engaged in CO Reply

    Just used your review to make my wedding champagne selection. Love your editorial style and thank you for the physical sacrifice!

  8. Lucia Maria KC Reply

    Everybody has their opinion! Korbel has always been my favorite and I've had $100.00 dollar champagnes and Korbel kicks it! I Buy Andre more though because it's cheapest and is good! J. Roget happens to be my least favorite!

    • I hear ya Lucia – It is all based on individual tastes. It could have been an off bottle of Korbel, but then again if they have off bottles, do you really want to buy it?

    • Dear Lucia, Tell me why J.Roget is your least favorite ,Andre seems subpar,Korbel fair at best,Cheers ,Vincent

  9. My husband just brought home two bottles of Andre and I must say it's pretty good and at a great price! I loved reading this btw..very funny and entertaining. Vincent, everyone's entitled to their opinions. Go write your own review on J. Roget. Happy New Year everyone!

  10. I have tried all but one of these and I can say I completely disagree with this review. Korbel Brut is the only one on this list I will even touch. I tried J.Roget, for the first time, on Valentine’s Day and spit it out just as quick as I could get to the sink. It even smelled like urine to me and the pungent filmy taste I could not get out of my glass. It was a package deal with the hotel. I am so glad I brought my own bottle.
    I am not one for over grape-y-ness, if you call that the right word, in my wines and champagnes, either. Korbel has always been a family favorite with just the right blend, starting with my grandmother, from France.

  11. Rex Reply


    That is the thing about tastes. They vary. Sorry that you do not agree with the review. Once again, things may vary a bit year to year too. This review was done back in 2009. Not sure about the flavor consistency from year to year. We are talking about sub $15 bottles of champagne. Anyways, I appreciate your comment. I hope you come back to read more.

  12. I have been a bartender for quite a few years in resorts and hotels for years. So you can imagine between new years parties and wedding events I have tried quite. Bit of what you would call rot gut champagne. I like the list a lot. I actually found this after trying Andre and searching for what others thought. Once tasted I couldn’t believe this stuff was only about 5 bucks. Enjoying as I type this to celebrate getting a new job. The only thing I would change about this list? J. Roget…. you know you belong in 5th. Do try Cristalino though. Very good for its price as well. Cheers!!

  13. In hind sight and respect to the previous reviews still J.Roget holds the banner high for value and bubbly clarity.Don’t be afraid of value,Vincent

  14. Just wondering what standard was used for the comparison? I lived in Europe for 10 years, and drank fine French Champagne on a weekly basis, not to mention the array of sparkling wines from other countries there. Cooks is number one by far. My European friends are blown away to find out the price, when I serve it! I use to go to wine tastings once or twice a month…I am a connissuer of fine wines. I will drink cheap beer before I touch Andre’s or J Rogets. With that being said, those two outshine Korbel by light years. It is utterly amazing to me that I can get an awesome bottle of champange (Cook’s Brut) at Walmart for $5.97 a bottle this year! 2015 🙂 Although it was $7.97…Lucky for us all that the price went down for the holidays. Now, if you just want an alcoholic soda pop, get a spumante’.

  15. I don’t know what makes it champagne unless it’s made in Champagne, France so I’m going toss in my favorite bubbly. It’s the Kirkland Signature Prosecco from Costco (purple label) for $6.99. It blows me away. But stupendous article here.

  16. Kirkland folks do not provide bubbly to north east.Though that being said go with their selection!

  17. Folks in the north east pay dearly for living there.However do the math,if you have to work for a living,do the math,J Roget is best value by far,no complaints, Vincent

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