Even if you're wearing your sparkliest outfit (or those bedazzled sweat pants) and have plenty of good luck foods on hand to kick off the new year, no celebration is complete without a flute or three of Champagne. This tradition dates back an estimated 1,500 years, as New Year’s celebrations became more modern and less religious. Because Champagne was the bubbly beverage of choice for posh parties and celebrations, sipping on this drink (instead of, say, wine) became a symbol of starting off the new year extravagantly—and hopefully striking it rich before the next New Year's Eve rolls around.
Over the centuries of course, Champagne became cheaper to make in mass quantities, and these days, you can easily find a $10 bottle of Champs at your wine store. But if you want to all-out splurge on a ridiculously pricey bottle of Champagne for NYE this year, here's some inspiration:
1996 Bollinger Vieilles Vigne Francaise Blanc de Noirs
Average price: $1,167
This Champagne owes its hefty price tag to the winemakers' stubbornness. Refusing to update the way they produce Champagne to make it more affordable, they charge more for bottles because the black grapes are ungrafted. What does this mean? Phylloxera (a louse) doesn’t touch the fruit, supposedly making the flavor richer and smoother. Very few grapes are untainted in this way, so the taste might be strikingly different to any bottle you've tried before.
Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon by Karl Lagerfeld
Average price: $1,228
Moet and Dom Perignon are already top-shelf, but throw fashion house Karl Lagerfeld into the mix and you’re bound to add a few dollar signs. Though some bottles are still available (for a steep price) this novelty collaboration originally came with a porcelain bowl that was a replica of one of Claudia Schiffer’s breasts. The more you know?
Krug Clos d’Ambonnay
Average price: $2,273
Of all of the Champagnes the Krug brothers have been producing since 1843, this bottle remains one of the priciest and most popular. Harvested in one vineyard only and made entirely of Pinot Noir grapes, it was vinified and aged for 15 years before being released with a very luxe price. Only 250 cases exist.
1961 Moet & Chandon Charles & Diana Dom Perignon
Average price: $3,363
If you’re a British monarch and hosting a lavish occasion in London that will be televised around the world, you better believe you'd want to pick a spectacularly posh bottle of Champagne to toast your new nuptials. At the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, this is what many of the guests were drinking. For British royal family fans and memorabilia collectors, a few bottles are still available as a (very expensive) keepsake.
Auction price: $21,000
This Champagne isn't on the market anymore, but this vintage bottle broke the world record for the most expensive one sold at auction in 2009. The collector who scooped up this bottle of bubbly was smart: The weather in 1928 was said to create the ideal conditions for producing Champagne, and very few bottles are still left decades later.
Shipwrecked 1907 Heidsieck
Average price: $275,000
If you’ve ever dreamed of discovering a buried treasure, this story might sound like a fairytale come true: It involves the shipwreck of a vessel that was taken down by a German submarine on its way to the Grand Halls of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. In addition to all that was lost aboard, two thousand bottles of Champagne sunk to the bottom of the ocean. But they were discovered decades later and nowadays, they're sold for $275K to collectors at winemaker auctions around the world.
Pol Roger Sir Winston Churchill 1988
Average price: $1,175
If you haven’t heard of Pol Roger, it’s likely because these Champagnes are so rare, hence the big price tag. The vineyard has been family-run since 1849 and produces fewer than 120,000 cases per year. This particular blend was inspired by a former bottle that was a favorite of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Armand de Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades)
Average price: $2,239
This name might sound familiar if you’re on team Bey and Jay. That’s because they put their love of Champagne on top and purchased Armand de Brignac in 2014. One of their pricier bottles is the Brut Gold, also known as the Ace of Spades, and serves as the label’s customer favorite. It was debuted a decade ago for the Andre Courreges fashion House in France, and it's a non-vintage (meaning it comes from many grape varieties) with a creamy taste.
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