Champagne is a sparkling wine that originated from the Champagne region in France. There are various aspects of the wine’s production that make it unique and allow it to be recognized as champagne rather than just sparkling wine.
Made primarily from Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay grapes, this beverage is seen as an elite beverage and is used primarily for special occasions like weddings and graduations.
Cristal Champagne is a brand of elite champagne owned by the Louis Roederer company. In this article, we are going to look at what makes this brand so special and what variations are available from Cristal and its parent company, Louis Roederer.
A Brief History of Cristal Champagne
Louis Roederer was personally commissioned by Tsar Alexander II in 1876 to create a personal wine for him. To ensure that the quality of the wine was reflected in its presentation, Louis Roederer began bottling it in a transparent, lead-crystal bottle with a flat bottom.
This allowed the Tsar to see the beverage before he drank it and is credited as inspiring the name Cristal for the house’s elite wine.
Before Cristal was created, Louis Roederer was already a big name in champagne production. Louis Roederer inherited the Champagne House in 1833 and aimed to make it a unique and premium champagne producer.
Focusing on improving the enrichment of the grape vines and forming unique tastes in the beverage, Roederer has created a legacy in champagne production.
Since the original Louis Roederer took over, the champagne house has remained within the Roederer family with each heir working to continue creating fine champagne. The house is now managed by the seventh generation of the Roederer family line, Frédéric Rouzard.
Something that the Louis Roederer champagne house has become well known for is its vineyards. 15 hectares of the Grand Cru vineyards were acquired by the family in 1845 which was somewhat controversial given that grapes did not have as much value as they do now.
This was done, however, to ensure that the family could continue perfecting their art and producing wine from its grapes rather than needing to outsource them.
Since then, Louis Roederer’s vineyards have expanded to 240 hectares and 410 parcels, which is an area of land that is subdivided or blocked off. The grapes are harvested in a method that ensures respect for the biodiversity of the land and principles of sustainable wine production.
Prices, Variations & Sizes of Cristal Champagne
Cristal is an elite brand of champagne, with the price point reflecting the quality and luxury of the beverage. The beverage is made using 40% Chardonnay grapes and 60% Pinot Noir grapes, after which the champagne is aged in Louis Roederer’s cellars for 6 months.
After it has been aged, it is then left for a further 8 months after dégorgement to ensure the quality of the champagne remains high.
The champagne has a silky texture with fruity aromas, making it an enjoyable beverage. With citrus and white fruit notes, this champagne is an ideal option for celebrations like weddings, birthdays, and graduations.
Cristal Rosé is made with 55% Pinot Noir grapes and 45% Chardonnay grapes, giving it a slightly different taste than the original recipe variation. This is bottled at an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 12% (24 proof), while the original is bottled at an ABV of 13% (26 proof).
|Item||Average Price||Size per Bottle|
|Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé||$520||750 ml|
|Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne||$240||750 ml|
Louis Roederer owns Cristal and offers some champagne variations that do not fall within the Cristal branding. Each of the champagnes offered by Louis Roederer outside of the Cristal branding is bottled at an ABV of 12% (24 proof).
The Brut variations are classified as such as they have a dry taste in terms of a sweetness designation. Brut is the most common designation among champagnes as it is not too sweet and not too bitter, making it a safe option in the middle.
|Item||Average Price||Size per Bottle|
|Louis Roederer Rose Vintage||$70||750 ml|
|Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2006||$80||750 ml|
|Louis Roederer Brut Premier||$50||750 ml|
|Louis Roederer Carte Blanche||$50||750 ml|
|Louis Roederer Brut Nature 2009||$80||750 ml|
3 Alternatives to Cristal Champagne
Given the elite nature of Cristal Champagne, it is difficult to find an affordable alternative to his beverage. The three champagnes discussed have an average price range of $240 to $520, putting them between the two price points of Cristal Champagne.
Dom Perignon P2 Brut 1998 is brut champagne created by Dom Perignon. It has notes of orange fruit, honeysuckle, and toasted almonds.
Made with primarily Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, this vintage has a ratio of 48% to 52% which differs from the brand’s standard composition.
This champagne has an average price of $559 per 750 ml bottle and is sold at an alcohol by volume of 12% (24 proof).
Champagne Krug Vintage Brut 2000 is a brut produced by the Krug Champagne company. This champagne was produced to reflect the new millennium and the chaos and excitement felt during that time.
It has notes of lime zest and citrus fruit with an aroma of freshly baked pastries and caramel. Sold at an average price of $513 per 750 ml bottle, this champagne has an alcohol by volume of 12% (24 proof).
Piper-Heidsieck Rare Rose 2007 is a Rosé made with 56% Chardonnay and 44% Pinot Noir grapes. It has a fruity taste which is complimented with vanilla tones and coffee notes.
Made by the Piper-Heidsieck company, this champagne is on the lower end of the alternatives in terms of price point. This Rosé has an average price of $435 per 750 ml bottle and is sold at an alcohol by volume of 12% (24 proof).
How to Drink Cristal Champagne
As elite champagne, Cristal should be savored and sipped to ensure you are enjoying the quality taste of the beverage.
It is best to drink champagne from a champagne flute which will allow the fine bubbles to rise from the beverage and open the flavor of the beverage. Pour the Cristal champagne into the flute at a 45° angle to reduce the chance of it overflowing due to the bubbles.
You should not drink champagne with ice and should rather enjoy it neat. This will prevent the beverage from being watered down which may affect the flavor of the drink.
If you are looking for a way to add a twist to your champagne, there are 2 options. You could add fruit pieces like pomegranate seeds, raspberries, cherries, or cranberries to add a fun treat to the end of the beverage and add a slightly fruity taste to the beverage.
Otherwise, you could use Cristal champagne as a base ingredient for a mimosa for brunch. Simply add equal parts chilled Cristal champagne and fresh orange juice to a champagne flute.
If you prefer a stronger or weaker mimosa, simply alter the amount of each ingredient to create an ideal drink.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Dom Pérignon or Cristal better?
The Luxury Institute conducted a Luxury Brand Status Index Survey which reflected that Dom Pérignon was the better champagne when compared to Cristal Champagne.
Dom Pérignon was described as having a consistently high quality, high social status, and excellent taste.
Is Cristal good Champagne?
Cristal has a 100-point rating as of 2002 by Wine and Spirits Magazine. It is recognized as one of the finest and most sought-after champagnes across the globe.
What makes Cristal champagne special?
Cristal champagne is known for its bouquet of fresh aromas and notes and the period that it is aged. The fine bubbles are recognized as a symbol of its premium quality with an aroma of toast and citrus which makes it tasty and premium champagne.
Louis Roederer Cristal Rosé 2008 has grown an impressive 35% in six months and ranks as the top performing investment wine in the first half of 2021 seconded by Cristal 2008 with 34.1% growth.Do people still buy Cristal? ›
Champagne executive Frederick Heidsieck has a message for rapper Jay-Z: Cristal is alive and well, thank you very much. The global sales manager for Louis Roederer, maker of Cristal, the iconic $300-a-bottle super-luxury bubbly celebrated in numerous hip-hop anthems, says sales are surging once again.Which is better Dom Perignon or Cristal? ›
So which is the best champagne out of the two? Based on the Luxury Institute's Luxury Brand Status Index survey of Champagnes and Sparkling Wines, Dom Perignon was the clear winner. The HNWI cited Dom Perignon as “synonymous with the best in champagne”, for its consistent high quality, superb taste and social status.How long can you keep Cristal champagne? ›
It has a silky texture and fruity aromas, complemented by a powerful mineral quality with white fruit and citrus notes. Cristal is a wine that keeps well: it can be conserved for over twenty years without losing its freshness and character.Does Cristal champagne go up in value? ›
Like most other investment wines, Cristal Champagne is considered a Veblen good - meaning its demand goes up with price because of its exclusivity and “status symbol” appeal.Did Jay-Z Own Cristal? ›
His collaboration with Armand de Brignac started in 2006, after a fallout with the owners of Cristal champagne, which was previously his brand of choice. He took full ownership of the Armand de Brignac brand in 2014.What champagne does Jay-Z drink? ›
Hov famously bought the Armand de Brignac champagne brand in 2014 following a public fall out with the owner of Cristal Champagne. In his memoir, JAY-Z recounted how he would be drinking Cristal in clubs in 1994 – before it was cool.How do you store Cristal? ›
Champagne in clear bottles, such as Roederer's Cristal, comes wrapped in anti-UV cellophane which should be not be removed. If your storage area is not dark most of the time, store your champagne in a box or cover and wrap the bottle with a cloth. Humidity is also quite important.Why is Cristal champagne so good? ›
While many Champagnes come from a blend of vintages, Cristal is a vintage Champagne, made from grapes grown in only the best years. This means the wine isn't made each year. Instead, it is only made in years when the grapes are close to perfection, ensuring the highest quality product.What do you eat with Cristal champagne? ›
For something really special: Louis Roederer Cristal
If you're popping the question before dinner then this pure, intense and complex Champagne is perfect for rich meats, such as chicken, monk fish or veal, and loves a butter or cream-based sauce.
Early links with Russian court led to the creation of Cristal, Roederer's famous Prestige Cuvee in 1876. Cristal was originally sweet, unlike the current dry (Brut) style. Cristal was commissioned by Russian Tsar Alexander II who wanted it in clear glass crystal so that it would not stand out, hence the name Cristal.How much is the most expensive bottle of Cristal? ›
2002 Louis Roederer Cristal 'Gold Medalion' Orfevres Limited Edition Brut Millesime, Champagne, France ($4,033) This Cristal Brut Champagne bottle is part of a limited edition collection. Its packaging is made of 24-carat gold-plated brass.What temperature should Cristal be served? ›
Experience shows that ideal serving temperature is 8-10 °C (47-50°F). Below that temperature the wine is too cold making aromas harder to detect.Should I put Champagne in the fridge? ›
Avoid storing champagne in the refrigerator, both short-term and long-term, (unless you are chilling it to serve) because the light from the refrigerator, combined with the refrigerator motor and temperature fluctuations from constantly opening and closing the door, will ruin the champagne.Can you drink 30 year old Champagne? ›
Eventually, yes. Certain champagnes, as detailed below, can last beyond 20 years. The shelf life of champagne depends on a variety of factors, such as the label and how the champagne was stored.Why did Jay Z boycott Cristal champagne? ›
He boycotted the brand after perceived racist remarks
The comments that Jay-Z speaks of were remarks that Frederic Rouzaud, then managing director (and current CEO) of the Champagne Louis Roederer winery (which produces Cristal) made in 2006, which the “Empire State of Mind” rapper found to be racist.
"I think I've noticed a slight drop-off in Cristal in the club," said Noel Ashman, the owner of the Manhattan celebrity haunt Plumm, where Cristal served at a table is $550 a bottle.How long does champagne last unopened? ›
If you're planning on saving a nice bottle of bubbly for a special occasion, your best bet is to leave it as it is and make sure that you store it in the right way. Unopened champagne will last: Three to four years if it is non-vintage; Five to ten years if it is a vintage.Is Ace of Spades better than Crystal? ›
That said, here are the three factors that one could argue would make Cristal a better buy: You can buy 2 bottles of Cristal for the price of one Ace of Spades. Cristal sits on the lees for twice as long as Ace of Spades. Cristal is vintage Champagne, an arguably superior Champagne classification.How much is a bottle of Jay-Z Champagne? ›
Jay Z Launches New Champagne That Costs Over $125 Per Glass
According to Bloomberg, the brand will begin delivering its first new products since Jay Z took over starting in October, including an all-pinot Blanc de Noir Ace of Spades in a gunmetal bottle. And the price tag? About $760 per bottle.
All Champagne must be aged for at least 15 months in the bottle prior to release, and non-vintage wines must be aged for at least 12 months on 'lees', according to the Comité Champagne. Some houses may choose to age NV Champagne longer. For example, Louis Roederer says it ages Brut Premier NV for three years.Does 50 Cent have champagne? ›
Le Chemin du Roi is a new Champagne from Rapper 50 Cent. It's a gleaming and vibrant pink champagne that illuminates the The King's Path. Made with hand harvested grapes from some of the top vineyards throughout the Champagne Region of France.What is Rick Ross champagne? ›
A favorite of rapper Rick Ross, Luc Belaire Rare Rose has really taken off in the past year.Who owns Cristal champagne? ›
Cristal remains in the Roederer family to this day. The estate is currently overseen by Frédéric Rouzaud, the seventh generation of the family. This makes Louis Roeder the largest independent and family-owned Champagne house in the world.Should Champagne be stored flat or upright? ›
One thing that doesn't really matter is the angle of the bottle. Unlike still wine, Champagne can be stored on its side or upright since the pressure inside the bottle will keep the cork moist and the seal intact in either case.Is it OK to store Champagne at room temperature? ›
Temperature is key when it comes to wine storage and champagne is no exception. The ideal temperature is between 45° and 65° (many purists keep their collection at exactly 55°). Anything above 70° can degrade the wine, while cold temperatures could dry out the cork and allow oxygen inside the bottle.How do you know when Champagne goes bad? ›
If you're champagne changes color and turned deep yellow or gold, chances are it's already bad. Improperly stored champagne can get contaminated and clumps may start to form in the liquid, which makes it spoiled. Spoiled champagne will taste and smell sour.How much is a bottle of Cristal in a club? ›
"I think I've noticed a slight drop-off in Cristal in the club," said Noel Ashman, the owner of the Manhattan celebrity haunt Plumm, where Cristal served at a table is $550 a bottle.Does Dom Perignon go up in value? ›
Price Appreciation Over Time
The 2000 vintage has risen by 400% since release. As an investment, it is a recession-proof one. For example, when the stock market crumbled in 2008 and 2009, the average price of a Dom Perignon dipped only by 0.6%.
Cristal remains in the Roederer family to this day. The estate is currently overseen by Frédéric Rouzaud, the seventh generation of the family. This makes Louis Roeder the largest independent and family-owned Champagne house in the world.
Champagne in clear bottles, such as Roederer's Cristal, comes wrapped in anti-UV cellophane which should be not be removed. If your storage area is not dark most of the time, store your champagne in a box or cover and wrap the bottle with a cloth. Humidity is also quite important.Is Cristal champagne dry or sweet? ›
Early links with Russian court led to the creation of Cristal, Roederer's famous Prestige Cuvee in 1876. Cristal was originally sweet, unlike the current dry (Brut) style. Cristal was commissioned by Russian Tsar Alexander II who wanted it in clear glass crystal so that it would not stand out, hence the name Cristal.What Champagne is a good investment? ›
Invest in Exceptional Vintages
The most remarkable Champagne vintages of the last few decades are 2014, 2013, 2012, 2008, 2000, 2002, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999. Be ready to invest a substantial amount since well-performing vintages usually cost more.
Moët has a much more generous, giving style whereas Dom Pérignon is more complex and subdued. They are made as much different champagnes.” Lots of lemon, creaminess and bright fruit. Good ripeness and great texture on the mouth.Is 20 year old Dom Perignon still good? ›
Your cherished (unopened) Dom Perignon bottle can last for 5 to 10 years or more - if stored properly! Once you uncork it, it could have a shelf life of around 3-5 days.How many bottles of Cristal are made? ›
Average annual production hovers around the 1,000,000 bottle mark. What's unique about Cristal is that it's made using only grapes grown in the vineyard's best years. As such, it's known as a Vintage Champagne.What Champagne does Jay-Z drink? ›
Hov famously bought the Armand de Brignac champagne brand in 2014 following a public fall out with the owner of Cristal Champagne. In his memoir, JAY-Z recounted how he would be drinking Cristal in clubs in 1994 – before it was cool.Does Champagne go bad? ›
Yes, Champagne can go bad. The lifespan of an unopened bottle depends on how you store it and whether it's a vintage or non vintage Champagne. And, if you don't store your opened bottle of bubbly properly, it can quickly get oxidized, lose its fizz, and turn sour.Why is Cristal so expensive? ›
Part of the reason Cristal is so expensive is the quality of the grapes used, along with the method of how it is made. Only in good harvest years are grapes harvested for Cristal use, and this doesn't happen annually. This leads to limited production runs which lead to higher retail values.How long can you keep an unopened bottle of champagne? ›
If you're planning on saving a nice bottle of bubbly for a special occasion, your best bet is to leave it as it is and make sure that you store it in the right way. Unopened champagne will last: Three to four years if it is non-vintage; Five to ten years if it is a vintage.
Yes, Champagne does get ruined when frozen. It might become a slushy texture or a hard block when it's forgotten in the freezer. When this happens, you'll possibly notice some crystals. These are tartaric acid crystals that are still safe to consume.