Veuve Clicquot is instantly recognizable on the shelf, its iconic Yellow Label popping among a sea of muted bottles. A dry yet fruit-forward Champagne that relies on Pinot Noir for body and richness, Veuve Clicquot is a go-to for special occasions, gifting, and simply feeling luxurious.
But if it feels like the night to branch out and try something new, there are options from the Champagne region and beyond that can offer bubbly exploration without straying too far from familiar flavors. These five bottles are guaranteed winners for any Veuve Clicquot lover, some of which will save you so much that you just might be able to splurge on a magnum next time you need a glass of the tried-and-true stuff.
From one iconic label to another, the bright red bottle of Piper-Heidsieck Brut leans heavy on Pinot Noir along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, just like Veuve Clicquot. This Brut Champagne blends fruit from over 100 different vineyards to produce a round, full, and fruity wine with slightly toasty richness, Meyer lemon and ripe red apple notes. Clean and fresh on the finish, it’s incredibly easy-drinking and prime to pop open at any time.
If you’re curious to check out this grower Champagne stuff that everyone is talking about, dip a toe into the ever-expanding pool with the Marc Hébrart “Cuvée de Réserve.” Hébrart, now run by Marc’s son, leans heavy on Pinot Noir, along with a portion of Chardonnay. While the “Cuvée de Réserve” will have more minerality, texture, and complexity than Veuve Clicquot, it shares Veuve’s red-fruited richness and drinkability.
A straight-up steal for true Champagne, the Nicolas Feuillatte is a gulpable blend primarily based on the red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. It’s exceptionally soft, with notes of ripe apple and citrus.
Traditional-method sparklers abound in cooler areas of California, where warmer temperatures and plentiful sun create sparkling wines with ripe fruit and richness. The Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs is made entirely from Pinot Noir, its round, powerful fruit and toasty accents bearing remarkable similarities to Veuve Clicquot. Plus, at a fraction of the price, it qualifies for everyday drinking status.
Though this Alsatian wine doesn’t use any classic grapes, it bears a striking similarity to rich, toasty Champagne. It leans on Pinot Blanc and Pinot Auxerrois to create wine that strikes a great balance between voluptuous fruit and fresh acidity, with finely textured bubbles.