Originally posted by WineGuy2008:
Help me understand the higher end Champagne.
Which is a better year for Dom Perignon? I saw both the 1999 and 2000 on sale, both for around $130 each. Or should I buy a cheaper Champagne like Veuve Clicquot or maybe Moet et Chandon? They are under $50.
I'm not a huge Dom fan and neither of those are spectacular years. There are several wine stores in the US selling the 1985 Charles Heidsiek Champagne Charlie for about that price. If you do a search of this board, you will see that this is a VERY well regarded wine around these parts -- I've had every vintage of Dom (that it came out) from 1985 through 1996 and I prefer the '85 Charlie to all of them. The 1995 Blanc des Millenaires from the same producer should be pretty easy to find for about $85.
Mostly, though, I would go to a store that specializes in Grower-Producer Champagnes and befriend the owners so that you can be guided through all the different styles.
I would not get the Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label or the Moet & Chandon. For basic NV non Grower-Producer Champagnes, I think Billecart-Salmon is the way to go... or Charles Heidsieck (or maybe Bollinger Special Cuvee, though the last bottle I had wasn't so special).