With so many options, it is hard to know what kind of bubbly to purchase. Google is not much help, only offering hundreds of different links with scatter brained suggestions. I was up early this morning skimming through my favorite sites, and found a champagne guide via Cupcakes and Cashmere. With six Under $20 suggestions and a description of each taste, I bookmarked it instantly for future reference. Champagne comes with the connotation that you have to spend a lot of money, which is false if you choose the right bottle.
If you are not going to finish the bottle, simply put a stopper in the opening and place it in the fridge. To chill you bottle of champagne fast, wrap it in a damp paper towel and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Having a girls night or a date night? Crate & Barrel II (CB2) has great champagne glasses for about $1.95 a piece, so you do not have to spend a small fortune to make the drink look as great as it tastes. Personally I prefer stemless glasses to prevent accidents. Pair with a simple cheese platter, strawberries, or grab some small desserts to compliment your drinks.
One: Bernard Rondeau Bugey Cerdon Rosé ($13.99). Vibrant, fruity taste on the sweeter side, pairs well with chocolate.
Two: J. Laurens Brut Cremant de Limoux ($13.99). Pleasant citrus notes, nice alcohol balance.
Three: Jean-Louis Cremant de Limoux ($14.99). Balanced fruity flavor, smooth finish. Great bargain.
Four: Graham Beck Brut Rosé ($14.99). Pale pink, with a nice floral taste. Very crisp, with a deeper, fruity finish.
Five: Antech Cremant de Limoux $13.99). My go-to brunch bubbly. Fresh, light taste with a clean finish.
Six: Deligeroy Cremant de Loir Brut ($11.99). Easy drinker, with slightly spicy finish. Nice to serve at a larger party.
Personally, I would much rather have a glass of champagne than a vodka or whiskey based drink. I enjoy the taste, and can sip slowly without making strange faces. I like to add a little fresh orange juice to my champagne, or peach juice.