Only these specific grapes grown according to geographical rules on designated plots of land within certain areas may be used to make and label it Champagne. Champagne became associated with royalty in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. The leading manufacturers made efforts to associate their Champagnes with noblility and royalty through advertising and packaging, which led to its popularity among the emerging middle class. The most prestigious Champagne makers are located in the cities of Reims and Épernay (Paris). Champagne is an amazing wine region, but because of it’s exclusivity, the prices start high. Most of us can expect to spend upwards of $40 a bottle for a basic, entry-level Champagne.
Spain has strict aging requirements that are very similar to Champagne. sparkling wines from Spain are the way to go! While there’s a lot of cheaply-made Sparkling wines out in the market, there are also terrific values to be had. For great quality, seek out wines that are labelled Reserva, Gran Reserva, or the rare Paraje Calificado.