Nothing compliments the holidays better than champagne. Here are some of my favorites
Fun, Flirty and Youthful, Veuve Clicquot has been gaining popularity for the last three decades and rightfully so. It is the preference of Gen-X’ers because they refuse to compromise. I always keep a bottle on hand because there are times when you have to make something mundane into something extraordinary. When that situation arises Veuve Clicquot is the perfect partner. It is robust and flavorful and synonymous with a good time. Who doesn’t like that?
Moet & Chandon is where my love affair with champagne began. Though less popular now, it still holds its own and I prefer its taste to its rival, VC. It is more subtle and sensuous and pairs nicely with lighter fare and can simply be enjoyed on its own. I always keep a few splits which are great for nights when i don’t want to open a big bottle, these offer the perfect amount when a single glass will do.
The pièce de résistance from this trio for me, however, is Billecart-Salmon’s Brut Rosé. This has become my favorite because it is simply exquisite. It is very easy on the pallet, sexy and beautiful. It blushes because it knows just how special it really is.
A little about these last two before delving in. There are some things that are a cut above. That’s how i feel about the two remaining choices from my list. There is something exceptional about a winemaker who can consistently do what the makers of these last two achieve. When crops are good, their jobs (for lack of a better term) are easy. I am not suggesting that winemaking is easy by any stretch, however, when crops are not good these vintners are still able to pull off the seemingly impossible and deliver champagnes that are superb and exquisite every time.
When I am in the mood to splurge a little I choose Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, the premier release from this vintner consistently meets or exceeds my expectations. It is crisp, refreshing and superbly balanced. A little goes a very long way. An absolute top shelf keeper.
When looking for classic vintage, It is always Dom Perignon. It is the cream of the crop, literally. All the best grapes of the year from the Moet & Chandon vineyard are reserved for Dom Perignon. It is mysterious and alluring. Every bottle is Vintage, and I make my selection based on the occasion. My main choice is always the Vintage line. When I am feeling a bit more playful, it’s Rose. And finally, when it is one of those rare “once in a lifetime” moments, i always celebrate these with the uncompromising P2.
If you’re looking for a sparkling wine that’s “off the beaten track” I would highly recommend Jansz NV Premium Rosé Sparkling Cava from Tasmania. It’s creamy texture remains dry and refreshing while the hints of toast and citrus add nuance to the strawberry scent.
Raventos i Blanc Reserva Brut Cava 2009 has a vibrant bouquet of peach and lemon peel that is crisp and is complimented by a subtle aroma of crushed stone.
And finally, if you’re looking for a domestic sparkling wine, there’s Schramsberg Vineyards - Brut Rose Methode Champenoise North Coast which is clean and smooth yet crisp but luscious cherry, apple and toasty vanilla flavors
This is my go to list for all special occasions because they are carefully and skillfully crafted and remain consistent over time. I hope you enjoy them as much as i do!