If you’re going to splurge on something to drink this holiday, there’s a good chance you will follow your gut instinct and go for some bubbly. Champagne is the perfect drink for the marker moments of our lives. Even the ones that are forced upon us, like the inevitable new year. For some reason though, we often reach for some pretty boring sparklers for such important moments. The Moets, Veuves, and Jouets of the world are not bad beverages, by any means. Especially considering they are brands producing millions of cases and deserve our respect for the care put in on that scale. But if the moments are extraordinary, why do we drink ordinary Champagne so often? If you are a rapper, the solution to this problem is obvious – drink the $200 bottles of Dom and Cristal, or even better use the ordinary Champagne to fill a hot tub.
To go a little outside the comfort zone, here are a few brands that are fairly common on store shelves but far from common in their flavour profiles. Some of these Champagnes will knock your socks off with flavour.
Cuvee Paradis, Gratien’s prestige bottling of Champagne, is consistently brilliant, but rarely consistent. I’ve been fortunate to have 5 or 6 bottles over the last few years, and all were completely different, and all were memorable. Maybe it is because these wines are stuffed with every possible Champagne flavour, from fresh citrus to baked gingerbread. The regular Alfred Gratien Champagne is a bargain.
I find these wines to have a beguiling sweet/savoury delicacy, especially the rose. A lot of that savoury character is probably because of the flawless frothy feeling these wines tickle your mouth with. These would be good Champagnes to put beside the big brands and really emphasize just how classy Champagne can be.
A manly Champagne that throws some mature white wine aromas such as honey, baked goods and nuts. Distinct, memorable and rich Champagne.
For the non-rappers, a premium Champagne that tastes expensive and also brings that little something extra. But these are not little. Big, bold and flavourful, but yet they caress your palate and finish with a fresh flavour that goes on and on. The Christmas gift you give yourself.