Champagne is a beverage best enjoyed in the company of others. Popping one is an ideal way to celebrate any occasion, be it birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, promotions, Fridays, or no occasion at all. Whether you’re looking for the ideal bottle to serve at brunch, the right cuvée for gifting, or the most fitting infusion to commemorate important moments, any time is a good time to sip a little bubbly if you ask us.
The wine marketplace is a big market that is constantly changing. Over 100,000 labels get registered with the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) each year. It is thus understandable why some tipplers can feel overwhelmed at the plethora of options available.
Popping a cork should ultimately be enjoyable, but its premium price tag can be intimidating. You might find yourself asking questions like how much to spend on a decent bottle and how much that bottle of champagne really costs when in a restaurant. Some champagne can be very expensive, but you don’t have to mortgage your entire estate just to have the right bottle.
Lanson’s style of Champagne made for extended ageing. Among its many varieties, Lanson’s Brut Non-Vintage, called Black Label, stands out for many reasons: its distinctive dark packaging, its retention of its mouth-watering malic acid and pure apple-like flavours (owing to the fact that it does not go through malolactic fermentation), and its disgorgement dates printed on its back labels – which means the drinker can quickly tell when the Champagne was corked.
Black Label has an appealing green apple bite along with toasted bread and nutty notes, lending complexity to the fizz. Its blend is approximately 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay, and 15% Pinot Meunier.
Moët & Chandon was founded in 1743 and remains to be one of the most influential houses in all of Champagne. Having created what is considered the world leader of luxury brands, Moet & Chandon’s 2009 Grand Vintage Brut demonstrates this luxury branding perfectly.
This champagne remains a benchmark and is well-balanced amid its enormous production. Thanks to its pinot noir and meunier varietals, it has a bright acidity and red fruit zip that is offset by flavors of toasted nuts and baked bread. It is a plush wine that has an edge of toastiness which gives it a sensational complexity – an opulent wine, given its price.
It is perfect to cellar for future occasions. If you prefer enjoying it now to take your party to next level, you can pair it with roast chicken or serve with dollops of fresh whipped cream and sliced stone fruit for an indulgent final course.
A Pol Roger is bottle you grab when you need one for a dinner party that looks timeless and elegant. This fruit-forward champagne boasts delicate notes of berries and citrus, and a seasoning of freshly baked pastries. Its luxurious, velvety mousse complements its finish which lands a crisp, mineral-rich sensation.
Pol Roger gives you everything you expect from quality champagne. They practice just the right bottle aging to allow it to soften and fill out with ripe fruit. It is equal parts pinot noir, pinot meunier and chardonnay from 30 different crus.
This champagne is known to be that which royal personalities have taken a shine to, like Harry and Meghan as well as William and Kate. It’s also said to have been the top pick of Winston Churchill. Whichever the case is, popping its cork is guaranteed to give you an imperial experience.
Ruinart Blanc de Blancs is a charming, elegant 100% chardonnay bottle that is both fruity and floral. Harvested right from the Cotes de Blancs and Montagne de Reims vineyards, its chardonnay grape bears the aroma that has notes of lemon, grapefruit, fresh floral, stone fruits, and barrel. All this, alongside delicate and sensual white floral fragrances and some nuanced erotic spices like ginger.
The Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blancs is aged for 36 months – as a result, it has a beautiful golden yellow in colour with an abundance of foamy apricot, peach and pineapple. True to its brand of elegance, it is presented in a transparent bottle which fully showcases its rich, aromatic expressions.
Creamy with fine bubbles, complex, and elegant, this champagne captures the elegance of chardonnay and offers a beautiful expression of blanc de blancs for fans of the style.
This French favorite has a forward palette that has a large mass of aromas: fresh and rich with citrus, pear, and undertones of toasted nuts and buttery pastry. They are all subtle, refined, and layered. It comes in a delicate, elegant, and pale yellow color.
Its flavors are lifted, intense, and fresh just like its aroma. On the palate, this champagne is powerful and acidic, with an oily texture and accented by fine creamy bubbles. Its minerality is its lasting impression, alongside the vegetal character on the finish which gives it its overall freshness.
The wines from Palmer & Co. are all highly rated, but this Blanc de Blancs is one that should definitely go on your must-buy list. This full, mature bottle of pure chardonnay is a solid hit among true champagne lovers.
The Taittinger Brut La Francaise champagne is a superb wine on a beer budget. This is no easy feat, given that seldom do the bottles live up to the complex, toasty, taut, crisp benchmarks of the category.
This champagne has a higher proportion of chardonnay than your average NV champagne. It has revealing yeasty bread dough notes along with a smoky underpinning and a chalky texture. It provides a fresh, crisp palate of citrus and mineral notes and is telling of a light to medium-bodied style – a perfect complement to fresh seafood.
Taittinger’s “La Francaise” ages on its lees for four years, or almost double what the appellation requires. The extra cellar time imbues youthful flavors that are fruity and ripe, balanced with just the right acidity to support the fine fruitiness.
A real charmer, this champagne’s palate is lively and fresh, with electric acidity that gives it an ebullient character.
Bollinger Special Cuvee is the official champagne brand of James Bond, which should tell you of its prominence; but this go-to bubbly, often thought of as British, is decidedly French. Bollinger is a Champagne house with an almost 200-year legacy, and it is one of the few great Champagne houses that is still independently owned.
This old-fashioned champagne makes you feel a certain level of sophistication – well above its price point, if we may add – for drinking it. It begins with a fine mousse and complex aromas of rising bread dough, crisp apples, subtle baking spice, and hints of vanilla.
This bottle is plush and full-bodied, with notes of red currant and creme brûlée. It also offers lemon zest acidity and a hint of roasted nuts, making it an ideal partner for seafood courses, cheese plates, and even festive turkey dinner.
The Henriot style goes for mature Champagnes, both with reserve wines and with a base of an older vintage. This champagne house was once declared the Official Supplier to the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria – making your bringing a Henriot bottle to your table a regal experience.
Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs has bright, zippy fruit flavors in sparkling, crystalline pale gold with slight green highlights. Its crisp minerality is pleasantly complemented by its fine, delicate bubbles.
It is pure, concentrated and expressive, with an aroma that is floral, fruity, and pastry aromas. It has spicy notes which make its attack dynamic, full, and powerful. Its mineral and zesty texture allows its finish to develop on a light menthol note, letting its layers of attractive acidity simmer on the tongue with excellent length.
Agrapart et Fils is a grower-producer that dates back to 1894. Their Champagnes are all made from estate grapes, grown primarily in Grand Cru vineyards of the Côte des Blancs. They have opted to produce and bottle estate wines since their founding.
The Terroirs Extra Brut is blended from two vintages of juice coming from the vineyards of Grand Cru Chardonnay. It is a wine that is almost weightless on the tongue, with floral and honey notes. It is light on its feet, has an ethereal quality, and lingers with impressive length – truly an incredible finesse for its price.
The Agrapart approach to winemaking is to let the grapes speak for themselves. For this, it is regarded as an excellent value choice for adventurous Champagne lovers.
No one likes to go to the wine aisle and feel paralyzed by the tyranny of choice. Have you bought a bottle based on arbitrary ratings, ambiguous tasting notes, or the label? It is quite a challenge to walk in, confidently find your favorite wines, and leave 100% satisfied.
Here are some of the things you might find handy, especially when you’re not all that familiar with the cuvée verbiage:
You can spend a lot of good money Champagne. Many times, you will have to have at least enough triumphant context so you can overlook what you spent and say it was worth the bucks. Considering the amount of money a good bottle can cost, it can be a bit of a letdown if we don’t choose the right one for the occasion.
Good champagne has the ability to transport you to another place and time. The more wistful critics would tell you that one close approximation of this ability is when by sipping this wine, you can close your eyes and easily imagine yourself drinking among the famous faces in Hollywood’s Golden Age or perhaps in the grand dining hall of the Titanic. Any fabulous champagne is always a subtle blend of formality, elegance, and sophistication.
You can go a long way and open doors to new flavors and styles with a little bit of wine knowledge. Exploring your options of this delightful bubbly infusion is an inexhaustible adventure – one where you will need to enlist your friends and family.
Good champagne is great for drinking by your lonesome, but it is best shared with people you care for.