I learned a lot in college - how to casually toss Foucault into a conversation, how to bang out a 5 - 7 page essay in under an hour, and how to open a champagne bottle without losing most of the precious bubbly or taking out someone's eye with the cork*. Key skills, people, key skills. And you can probably guess which one comes in handy most often in every day life.
I always keep at least one bottle of champagne (sorry - sparkling wine) in my fridge, but with the holidays approaching I like to stock up for quick hostess gifts and impromptu gatherings.
Roederer Estate is perfect for bringing to dinner parties, giving as a gift, or for special occasions where you only need one or two bottles. At $20, it's still a pretty good deal.
Ballatore is a more frugal option, excellent for making champagne cocktails (1 shot of vodka + 1 shot of pomegranate juice + champagne to fill the glass) or for passing off on unsuspecting guests who have already gone through enough of your good stuff to not be too discriminating.
I'm always looking for new favorites. Suggestions? *The trick to opening a champagne bottle? Untwist that little wire thingy and toss a dish towel over the top of the bottle (not totally necessary, but a good precaution, particularly if you are already a couple of bottles into the night). Grasp the neck of the bottle with your left hand, so that you are holding the dish towel loosely. Slip your right hand under the dish towel and gently wiggle the cork back and forth, tugging a bit as you go. The cork should pop out pretty easily and you should be safe from any cork injury lawsuits.