Did you know Moet Chandon is the most mispronounced Champagne in Australia?
Yes, that’s right – it’s actually pronounced (in a French accent) moh-wet chan-dowh.
I found that out a few years ago in a very posh bar in Épernay in the Champagne region of France a few years ago, and confess I was a bit too Aussie for the French.
Anyway, what’s the best champagne in Australia I hear you ask?
We’ve put together this list based on our expert opinion (based on excessive tasting) combined with feedback from other Champagne-loving Australians. To make life easy for you, the list is broken down into various budgets.
Interesting facts about champagne in Australia!
Before we get into the list of best Champagnes – in true Monk style we thought you’d might like to impress your dinner guest with some interesting Champagne facts.
You’re a connoisseur after all. Aren’t you?
Fact – Australia is one of the world’s highest per capita consumers of Champagne.
Fact – Champagne is a region just north of Paris of which Reims is the largest town center.
Fact – Typically three grapes are used to produce most Champagne: the white grape Chardonnay and two red grapes (but without skin contact during fermentation) Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Fact – Some of the world’s most consumed Champagne brands can be strangely difficult to find when compared to established brands like Moet Chandon and Veuve Clicquot.
Fact – Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey (LVMH) and Pernod Ricard both control the lions share of Champagne distributed in Australia.
Fact – Moet Chandon (moh-wet chan-dowh) is the most mispronounced Champagne label in the country, second only to Billecart Salmon (bee-car sah-mowh).
Champagne under $50 (the best budget champagne in Australia!)
Duperrey is a popular choice under 50 bucks, and easy to get hold of at Jimmy Brings (quick delivery) or Dan Murphy’s. It’s a little on the tangy side without much depth, but drunk chilled will beat most Australian sparkling wines.
A great choice under $50 is Jacquart Mosaique NV. It’s a popular brand worldwide with over sixty separate crus – with an average rating of 96/100 on wine.com! Mosaique NV really stands out for quality within an affordable price range, and it’s a classier choice than Mumm.
The best place to buy Jacquart is Hairydog.
If you’re on a tighter budget and BWS is your bottle-o of choice, then try Bichat. You can grab a bottle for around $30, and it’s not bad for the money if you’re a cheapskate kinda guy (don’t worry, I won’t tell 🤫).
Bichat has a fuller flavour without as much harsh acidity, but again, don’t expect a lingering finish.
If you want to spend a little more, Piper Heidsieck (around $60) is a good bet and you’ll be rewarded with a little more depth at the finish. It’s another popular choice for good reason, and has stood the test of time since the Champagne was founded in 1785. Also available at Hairydog.
At Vintage Cellars, you’ll find Moutard, Henri Laurent and Cattier, which are all of similar quality and taste profile without being too heavy on your budget.
Look out for Baron de Villeboerg which tends to be on offer regularly (I’ve seen it recently for $37!) – an absolute bargain.
At ALDI you can find Monsigny for around $35. It’s a little dry in style and of similar quality range to the cheaper Dan Murphy/BWS versions, but it’s not bad for a budget Champagne!
My pick in this range (if you are sick of Piper Heidsieck) is the boutique grower Champagne Choisel Pere & Fils. Unfortunately for you guys it’s very hard to get hold of unless you’re near The Wine Emporium at Newstead (Brisbane) – I’m not sure where else it’s available.
Champagne in the $50 to $70 range
When we reach the $50 to $70 range we find some decent champagnes, and I wholeheartedly recommend you pay the extra bucks compared to the more budget champagnes above.
I’ve seen Comte de Noiron in some IGA Liquors in Melbourne and at a handful of boutique liquor stores. This champagne has a nice sweetness and decent length of taste, which you can typically pick up in the $40-50 range.
If you like Pol Roger, you’ll be partial to this one and save a decent amount of money.
Pommery is a huge house the doesn’t have a large presence in Australia because they mostly focus on restaurant supply instead, but it’s good if you can find it. Hairydog seems to have the best Champagne stock of the leading online retailers, and at the time of writing have Pommery for $65 – that’s a good deal!
Pommery is quite dry for a Champagne, which makes it a great choice with food or as an aperitif. I would say this is my personal favourite in the $50 to $70 range, especially as it’s a very respectable Champagne which remains affordable for most special occassions.
Try the Silver label for a great Blanc de Blanc or the lime green for a lighter Summer-centric blend.
Nicolas Feuillatte is one of France’s most consumed Champagne’s and only recently have I seen this being widely distributed (some Dan Murphy’s and boutique liquor stores).
Nicolas Feuillatte should retail above $55 and is an easy drinking, solid little Champagne.
Don’t try attempting the last name’s pronunciation without some French linguistic lessons behind you. If you do, make sure you drop the ‘s’ on Nicolas if you want to impress – (Nicola to us Aussies!)
Champagne in the $70 to $100 range
Louis Roederer is probably one of the more well-known brands I’ve listed here but is the cheaper cousin to famous Cristal brand.
This great, delicate little number’s taste will linger after each sip.
The Louis Roederer brand is very highly distributed, and like most good Champagnes can be found at Hairydog. You’ll also find it at BWS, usually around $100 (although at the time of writing it’s much cheaper at Hairydog at 80 bucks).
Ayala was a small house before being bought by Bollinger, but their $80-90 Brut Majeur Champagne has great depth by blending in a lot of back vintage wine and it’s not as dominated with green acidity as some other larger brands.
I’ve seen Ayala at Vintage Cellars and a few other smaller bottle shops. (note the label below is the old one – new one is dark grey)
Charles Heidsieck can usually be found for around $100 and is probably my personal favourite on this whole list due mostly to the fullness in taste. Again, Hairydog seem to consistently offer the best price.
Like all of the above it’s a non-vintage (NV) but the flavour in this bottle will rival 10-20 year old vintage Champagnes!
If you like Krug but want to save your pennies this Christmas, buy Charles Heidsieck. Not to be confused with Piper Heidsieck – they are miles apart!
Henroit Brut Souverain is also another more boutique Champagne which has huge flavour, freshness and a great combination of youth vs aged depth.
Expect to find it at smaller stores, Vintage Cellars or online for around $100 per bottle.
What are your thoughts on any of the Champagnes mentioned? Or do you have any other good recommendations?
I’ll leave you with a Champagne FAQ:
How much champagne in a glass?
A standard flute glass will generally serve between 100ml and 120ml (3.4 and 4.1 ounces) of champagne. Filled to the brim, if that’s your style, would be up to 180ml (6.3 ounces).
How much champagne is a standard drink?
In Australia a standard drink equates to 10 grams of alcohol. Based on an average champagne this is equivalent to approximately 100ml (around one standard flute glass).
What is champagne called in Australia?
“Sparkling wine” is Australia’s equivalent name for Champagne. The name “Champagne” is legally reserved for champagne from the French Champagne region.
Is “bubbles” champagne?
Bubbles is an Australian generalist term for various categories of sparkling wine, including French champagne, Australian sparkling wine, Italian prosecco, and Spanish cava.
Can champagne be aged?
Yes, champagne can be aged.
Champagne is made from grapes, and like all wines contains tannins. Tannins give wines their structure and allow them to age gracefully.
When champagne is young, the tannins are strong and the wine can taste astringent. But as champagne ages, the tannins slowly soften and round out, yielding a more complex and nuanced flavour profile..
When should champagne be served?
In Australia, Champagne should be served when you’re damn well ready to drink it!