|1. Kirkland||2. Piper-Heidsieck||3. Gérard Bertrand|
In this article, we’re going to dig into the rabbit hole of Costco’s Champagnes.
If you’re looking to celebrate but only got Costco in the area – you have to get creative. Don’t worry though, Costco actually has great Champagnes. Below are our 3 favorites from Costco.
Without further adieu, let’s get into it!
Top 3 Best Champagne At Costco 2021
This is Costco’s signature Champagne brand and just knowing what you get for the price is something to celebrate. Kirkland Signature Champagne Brut comes from the village of Verzenay in Champagne which bears the top grand cru label. This standard means the champagne has gone through very particular farming and production processes to create the beautiful, shimmering liquid in your Champagne flute.
It gets its lively mousse from its second fermentation and boasts lemon, lime, and green apple with floral notes plus tones of freshly-baked bread courtesy of lees aging. This NV Champagne also displays lovely creamy notes balanced by crisp acidity making it an ideal match for a range of food. Kirkland Signature Champagne Brut goes well with salty, fatty dishes. It can do so much more for your menu than act solely as an aperitif!
All-round this is a great value Champagne with just enough complexity to remind you this is the real thing.
In our search for the best champagne from Costco, we came across a beauty from Piper-Heidsieck. One of the most renowned houses in Champagne, this producer is famed for structured, fruity sparkling wine made predominantly with Pinot Noir and smaller parcels of Chardonnay for fresh acidity and Pinot Meunier for body. Its Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV is typical of its style and quality.
Grapes for Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV come from approximately 100 vineyards from the Champagne region. Fruit is vinified by grape variety and plot for more quality control in blending.
On the nose, this Champagne has a hint of green apple candy while the palate displays fresh pear, white peach, a touch of honey, notes of caramel, and brioche. Crisp and dry throughout, the finish has a lift of tart orchard fruit.
Piper-Heidsieck Cuvee Brut NV is the perfect Champagne for a hot afternoon at the beach. It is also ideal for brunch and general chilling with friends and family any time of the day. It has everything you want from a Champagne without being too demanding.
Strictly speaking, Crémant is not Champagne because it is made in the Languedoc in the south of France. We are going to highlight it here though because it is an excellent buy and, importantly, is made with the same traditional method that makes Champagne so special. Plus, it is pink, and some of us like a rosy-hued bottle of bubbly.
It has been made in honor of Thomas Jefferson who developed a penchant for Limoux sparkling wines during his time as a diplomat in France.
Gérard Bertrand Thomas Jefferson Brut Crémant De Limoux Rosé is a masterful blend of Chardonnay, fruity, spicy Chenin Blanc, and Pinot Noir. Charming and pretty, its palate boasts citrus, pear, and apricot with a smooth buttery brioche mouthfeel and vibrant mousse.
This is another traditional method sparkling wine for a lazy, hot summer’s day. Serve it with creamy cheeses, quiche, and seafood.
By the way, the people of Limoux claim sparkling wine à la Champagne method was first created in their neck of the woods rather than in the iconic region in the north of France. Additionally, there are factions that say there was experimentation with bubbly wine in England decades before it appeared in Champagne.
This debate will run, but Champagne is not likely to be pushed from its perch time soon! Enjoy your Costco traditional method bubblies – they are good ‘uns!
A quick Champagne 101
Champagne is synonymous with celebration, good times, and always adds an uplifting classy note to any occasion.
While sparkling wines around France and the rest of the world are made in the same precise and intricate way that Champagne is made, only bubbly hailing from the region east of Paris can bear the name of the iconic drink. This is because of French appellation rules which protect the origins, authenticity, and quality of a particular wine. Specific regional terroir, grape cultivation, and winemaking methods are all important to every appellation.
In the Champagne AC (Appellation Controlleé) wine region, there are three levels that appear on your sparkling wine label: cru, premier cru, and grand cru. Each signifies a higher quality level than the one below, but it is worth noting that this system can be regarded as somewhat out of date and in need of revision. Still, this is what you will see on your Champagne label.
So, what exactly is Champagne? It is base wine that has gone through two fermentations one of which is in the bottle. Of course, there is much more to Champagne production than this but what is important for sparkling wine lovers to know is this second fermentation is what gives rise to its explosively bubbly personality or mousse. In English, this is called the traditional method and if a sparkling wine has undergone this process, it is something to brag about and put on the label.
The main grapes used in this famous sparkling wine are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier. The Chardonnay cultivated in the Champagne region is light-bodied, displays floral and citrus notes, and is highly acidic. Pinot Noir adds body, structure, and a hint of red fruit character. Meunier contributes fruity flavors to the mix.
This is where it is important to know the difference between vintage and non-vintage Champagne. In this northwestern French region, the weather varies from year to year which has an impact on the character and quality of the grapes. Vintage Champagne displays a date on the label as a still wine does. This means that the fruit for the base wine came from one harvest.
Non-vintage Champagne is labeled as NV which means the base wine used for the bubbly may have come from a blend of multiple vintages. This approach is used when a winemaker wants to have control over the style of his or her Champagne. One way of managing this is by blending different vintages of base wine to achieve the desired style. As you can imagine, this is key for big Champagne houses that have built their reputations on a particular style of bubbly like the best Costco Champagne.
Why is all this worth knowing? It explains why Champagne tends to be expensive – which is why it is so fun when you find a great bubbly for a fantastic price.