A Vinophile’s Guide To Best Champagne Brands
What is the first image that comes to your mind when you think of the term ‘Celebration’? Is it a vision of Multi-colored confetti slowly making their way towards the earth? Or is it the boisterous laughter of your friends that surrounds you?
Whatever might be your definition of ‘celebration,’ we can all agree on the simple fact that any kind of celebration is incomplete without a bottle of Champagne. We associate the ‘popping of a bottle of champagne and spraying it everywhere’-act with the action of celebration.
Real Champagne originates from the Champagne region in the northeastern cranny of France. While all Champagne is sparkling wine, not all sparkling wine is Champagne. It follows the same naming scheme as that of bourbon. All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.
It’s technically illegal for a wine to be labeled Champagne if it doesn’t hail from the aforementioned French region or if it deviates from the strict set of guidelines outlined by law.
But with the wide variety of celebratory drinks available everywhere, it can be a daunting task to choose the right one. Like humans, every Champagne is also unique (size, cost, age, taste, and aroma). Therefore, selecting a champagne bottle that suits your budget, taste, and occasion is an essential part of planning a celebration.
In this guide, we try to enumerate the multitude of brands available and suggest the best pairings that go with so that you can settle on the best champagne brand to treat yourself and your family or help you pick the right kind of brand befitting your occasion.
Top 10 Champagne Brands 2020
Laurent-Perrier is one of the most famous champagne houses founded in 1812, based in France. With its signature styled legacy and varied range of exquisite products they offer. Their offerings are known for their lightness, finesse, and elegance. It’s the business class luxury lifestyle packaged in a drink. A coveted favorite amongst fashion A-listers for its low calorie
The taste “Best known for its pink Champagne, Laurent-Perrier’s Brut Non-Vintage is one of the best-selling fizzes.
To the tongue, it is quite delicate and floral in style, with a fresh combination of apple and citrus fruit, a hint of honey, and a chalky firmness – a flavor profile that reflects Chardonnay in the blend.” to quote the drinks business.
This is the Champagne we’d recommend for A-list functions or corporate events. It’s sure to add that touch of sophistication to your event. The Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé is best teamed with marinated raw fish, grilled prawns, or Parma ham, or more commonly, Asian or Indian cuisine.
Taittinger belongs to those rare champagne houses owned by a family with its names on the label to date. The brand itself is about 300 years old and is one of the largest producers of Champagne. The leading labels of the brand are it’s non-vintage Brut Reserve.
The house blend is fruity, floral and chardonnay-driven, (with their hallmark being the high percentage of Chardonnay), and they offer a wide selection of Champagne, including rose. Their grapes are grown in a unique location and with much tender care.
If that hasn’t convinced you yet, for fans of the James Bond franchise, in ‘Casino Royale,’ Bond describes Taittinger as “probably the finest Champagne in the world.” So what better way to elevate your party than this.
We recommend this as the Wine to go for on New Year’s Eve in pairing with your Oysters. It generally pairs nicely with the complex, salty, and umami-packed oyster.
3. Pol Roger
For all your royal celebrations, we recommend Pol Roger, holding a royal warrant as Champagne supplier to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was also the official Champagne of William and Kate’s wedding and Harry and Meghan’s. But those aren’t the only followers this regal brand has.
Sir Winston Churchill and his love for Champagne are well quoted on his favorite brands, prestige Cuvee Sir Winston Churchill.
The tasting notes, per pol, roger, “The blend displays a color resembling gold straws, along with abundant and fine bubbles. The initial aroma is of fruit (pear, mango) following light flavors of honeysuckle and white jasmine, and lingering on vanilla and brioche notes to a sensitive nose. The dynamic harmony in the Wine is apparent.
On the palate, flavors of cooked fruit (quince jelly, apricot jam) happily mingle with fragrances of beeswax and acacia honey. The long-lasting aromas, composed of both fruity (candied orange peel, tangerine) and spicy notes (cardamom, anis), are outstanding.”
So if this hasn’t gotten you rushing out to buy a bottle yet, we wouldn’t know what would cause. In all honesty, our hands are itching with just the description.
We recommend this pick for any and every occasion to add a regal touch to it. It is the perfect aperitif- pairs well with crisps, oysters, olives, and crudités.
Another one for the Bond fans, though the beloved agent 007 has chosen other champagnes, the Bollinger is the go-to bubbly. It was produced with a blend made of pinot noir. It is well known for its full-bodied style and complexity.
The Bollinger is generally a musical food pairing with everything owing to the pinot noir profile. However, we’d strongly recommend a match with any fish, especially sushi and sashimi. The Special Cuvée certainly embodies this versatility.
There are three species that reign at the top for us:
1. Champagne Bollinger’s Special Cuvée
Having a distinctive profile of black grape varieties with fantastic bubbles, paired with beautiful aromatic complexity, ripe fruit and spicy aromas, supplementary with hints of roasted apples, apple compote, and peaches. The subtle combination of structure, length, and vivacity; bubbles like velvet; pear, brioche, and spicy aroma, notes fresh walnut.
Best shared among friends on those meaningful occasions.
2. Champagne Bollingers Rosé
The flavor profile blooms with red berries’ nobility: hints of red currant, cherry, and wild strawberry.With more of a touch of spice. On the palate, expect a demure combination of structure and vivacity, with a tannic finish due to the mix of red wine Bubbles as fair as velvet Flavours of wild berries.
Best for any occasion, but we recommend this flavor for late afternoons.
3. Grand Année 2004
The profile comprises honey, gingerbread, cinnamon aroma, subtle notes of dried fruits (hazelnut), and dried flowers (lime blossom). Prepare to taste A mature, full-bodied wine with a long finish. On the palate, expect a taste of pastry, candied orange, and ripe fruit flavors with after notes of woodland and vanilla. Additionally, a creamy effervescence, the subtle acidity of the finish, adds freshness.
We’d recommend it as a staple for gourmet and fine dining experiences as a whole—the perfect pairing to your fine meal.
Pommery is a Champagne house located in Reims. Founded in 1958 in Reims, France, it has grown to become one of the top Champagne houses in the area. A consistent top-performer in the Champagne Masters, whether it’s Pommery’s flagship Cuvée Louise or its best-selling Non-Vintage, called Brut Royal, this is probably the most underrated house. This the brand that introduced the “Brut” category onto the Champagne scene.
Wine is what a great bottle of bubbles should taste like. Light and crisp, yet overflowing with notes of exotic fruit and flower petals, today’s Wine is a true marvel. The appearance is pale gold, with a lovely, dancing perlage. The taste is very aromatic, with notes of yellow, fleshy apple, ripe citrus, and a touch of brioche, vanilla, and almond.
We recommend serving this on the long warm days since it’s lighter in body and very refreshing when administered at the right temperature! It pairs well with a range of food (generally in the appetizer variety such as canapes, light salads, croquettes, and crab cakes). – quoting sparklingwinos.com
6. Moët & Chandon
This might be arguably one of the bestselling Champagne in the world. From Pretty Woman to Great Gatsby, it has toasted all of Hollywood’s highs and lows. It is so well known that it’s virtually a staple for any connoisseur of Champagne. It was awarded a gold medal at the 2016 Drinks Business Champagne Masters.
It has one of the most extensive vineyards in France’s Champagne regions, to a delicate nose, the combination of the smoky aroma (like a freshly struck match), paired with a citrusy scent and some ripe fruit and honey. On the palate, it tastes fresh and bright, with apple, lemon, and chalk flavors, but also, at its core, some honey and bread—a persistent, refreshing, and precise Champagne.
This is the Champagne you want to be reaching for during your Bridal showers, Engagement celebrations, Brunch parties, and party favors.
7. Veuve Clicquot
The unmistakable yellow label marks one of the most recognizable names in the Champagne. The Mason Veuve Clicquot has been producing luxury champagnes since 1772 and loved by connoisseurs worldwide for its ripe fruit, grape, apple, and orange flavor notes. This Wine is carefully distilled at Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin distillery, France.
In fashion, like a timeless statement piece, the Veuve Clicquot commands attention by speaking of your moment in style.
The taste of Veuve Clicquot does not require a food pairing to elevate it. You can revel in the taste of it or pair it with any of your gourmet foods. Save this for meaningful moments and romantic moments or for your picnics!
8. Dom Perignon
This Dom Perignon is the prestige Cuvee of Champagne house Moet & Chandon. It was named after a Benedictine monk who is considered by many to be the spiritual father of Champagne. It’s the most renowned brand of vintage- which is produced using the best grapes grown in a single year-Champagne in the world. It’s the Champagne of choice for royalty and celebrities alike. And holds its seat in royal history at the wedding of Lady Diana to Prince Charles.
It is known for its fresh acidity and minerality. Its bright fruit flavors and its notes of toast, coffee, cream, vanilla, and other subtle spices emerge as the wine ages.
It’s the most memorable gift for all your special occasions (for weddings, special anniversaries, or milestone achievements). Best paired with crispy foods or anything high in fat content. It generally pairs best with savory foods and heavily-seasoned meals. The citrusy flavor cuts through the dish and makes it lighter on the palate.
9. Nicolas Feuillatte
Unlike most of the world’s beloved century-old Champagnes, this pick of ours is a comparatively young brand on the scene. Founded in 1976, each bottle is approachable and affordable.
The name is known for its contemporary packaging and good value blends. A fine bead of bubbles reveals green apple flesh, citrus pith, a waft of pineapple, and a chalky note for the tasting notes. It pairs elegantly with simply made prawns.
This the bottle we recommend you to pick-up for those family get-togethers.
10. G.H. Mumm
With its iconic red ribbons, this brand is considered a staple at the finest chefs’ tables. Established in 1827 in Reims, France has a long-standing relationship with haute cuisine. It’s hard not to spot a bottle of it at the most refined rooms of luxury sporting events.
The tasting notes that dominate the palate are a core of ripe fruit and hints of red berry flavors, brioche, and honey. The finish is clean and bright with citrus and chalk. A good quality, good value, high volume Champagne.
This Wine is the perfect pairing with anything. We recommend getting this at your next Five-star dining experience.
Factors To Look For While Buying Wine Cooler
1. All bubbles are unique (just like humans)
Broadly speaking, sparkling wines can be classified into three primary styles. Champagne, Prosecco, and Cava. For the Wine to be called Champagne, it needs to be made in France’s Champagne region. And like every other niche with its share of eye-catchers, for Champagne, the growing area of it ( terroir) is revered in the wine world.
Like every other popular drink, the process of making Champagne is a closely guarded secret. Wine needs to be aged to be made tasteful. Most of the champagne makers have been around for many years. Hence it can be said that “All champagne is good champagne.”
By reading the bubbles, you can easily find out the type and quality of the Champagne:
Primarily produced from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes, Champagne typically has flavors of almond, citrus, and stone fruit along with an elegant structure of bubble. Fine, persistent bubbles are usually an indicator of higher quality.
Made from the Prosecco grape, Prosecco is typically more fruit-forward and floral and, because of its aging processes, results in a wine that is sweeter with lighter, less-spritzy bubbles that aren’t as persistent as the ones in real Champagne.
Cava, a sparkling wine from Spain made from Macabeo grapes, is most similar to Champagne in terms of its method of production, but the types of grapes used to yield a bubbly that is more floral and fruit-forward
2. Be Flexible
when it comes to wines, the bigger and older the brand, the better would the Champagne be. However, it does not mean that other newer brands or indie winemakers are by any means foul.
Conversely, these indie champagne brands are truly exceptional, as the winemaker himself has full control in the whole production process, from growing grapes to fermenting the Wine.
You will get the added benefit of having a unique Champagne bottle and helping an owner further his skill and artistry.
Champagnes require careful cooling and need to be stored with much care and handling. Any change or incompetence can lead to high losses in both money and investments. It is better to buy a sep[erate electric cellar for such purposes and use them carefully.
Any kind of temperature mishap can completely destroy the taste and texture of your favorite Champagne.
4. Linear Dependence Of Cost And Quality
This is one of the few niches where the saying – “The costlier, the better” applies. As the value of the champagne increases, the quality and richness also increase proportionally. Although you should go for brands that are within your budget, you should still try to stretch it as much as possible. Because any cheap brand would have something fishy going on in the background, that reduces its price.
So search well, and err on the side of caution.
Never ever try to take anyone’s word for this. Always choose Champagne, which is right for you, from your perspective. you will be the Wine who is going to enjoy the taste and aroma, and we wouldn’t want you to settle for anything less, all because someone “suggested it”
6. Miscellaneous Factors
Check and research all the factors related to buying Champagne carefully and don’t settle for less. All the different aspects of availability, age, aroma, and quality should be exhaustively researched before deciding upon one that suits your style and budget.
Raw, Dry, Semi-dry Champagne: What’s The Difference?
These types seem confusing, but they actually refer to the sugar content of the Champagne. – 12g / l for a crude, 12 to 37g / l for a dry, 32 to 50g / l for a half-dry, 50g / l for a sweet. Unfortunately, it is a misleading term and doesn’t really quantify results with accuracy.
FAQs on Champagne Brands
1. Is All Sparkling Wine Called Champagne?
Only wines made within a specific northeastern French region can use the labeling term Champagne. Geographical boundaries aren’t the only thing that defines the Wine, though; the region also enforces strict appellation laws.
Grape-growing and winemaking practices are closely controlled, affecting everything from the grape varieties used to vineyard and press yields and the methods by which the Wine gains its bubbles. The names might be confusing, but any connoisseur of such delicacies will be able to distinguish between the various types from the aroma alone.
2. How Many Toasts Can You Get Out Of A Bottle Of Champagne?
There are at least six full glasses of Champagne (average) per 750ml bottle. For a toast, you should go for at least seven glasses (on an average) as most champagne toasts are made after a fair amount of drinking (after the meal).
For example, to meet the needs of a group of people that is 100 strong, the composition should be as following: 15 bottles for a forthright measure (leave a finger of space in the top of the glass) and 17 if you’re going to give a decent glassful (requires more).
To be on the safer side, get a total of 18 bottles for 100 people, as that would be more than enough for all your drinking, toasting, and bragging needs, and still have some leftover.
3. Is Champagne Made With White Grapes?
Champagne winemakers use around 6 to 7 types of grapes in their blends. The list includes white grapes Chardonnay, Petite Arbanne, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc, and Fromenteau and red grapes Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
Typically, Champagne blends include a combination of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, although the permutations are endless.
Wines made ultimately from white grapes are called Blanc de Blancs, and less-common blanc de noirs contain only red grapes.
4. How Can I Make Champagne Last Longer After Opening?
The best thing you can do to prolong the life of your Champagne is to keep the fizz in your refrigerator. According to thermodynamics, carbon dioxide is more soluble in cold liquids than in warm.
So cooling the bottle of Champagne down to a respectable temperature is the best way of preserving the taste, aroma, and quality of your favorite fizz.
5. What Is Brut?
Brut champagne, a dry sparkling wine, is one of the most popular types of champagne exported from France. Brut champagne is a balance of crisp fruit, buttery notes, and minerality, as it has a small number of natural sugars remaining in the Wine.
It is naturally effervescent and also has a high acidity that contrasts nicely with the bubbles and mellows during aging. Dry Champagne tends to hover right at 12 ABV, making it moderately high alcohol.