This post is all about new champagne and bubbly to try this holiday season!
Bubbly is synonymous with the holiday season. We make toasts with it, enjoy a glass on Christmas morning and of course, celebrate the New Year with plenty of bottles of Champagne.
If you’re a champagne lover like me, you likely have brands that you drink year after year. So what if this year, you perhaps tried something new. Instead of prosecco, maybe a cava. And instead of spending the big bucks on champagne, maybe try a cremant instead.
I spoke to the experts over at Discovery Wines and The Tasting Room for their recommendations on unique bubbly for the holiday season so that you can mix it up a bit this year.
Spoiler alert: there is not going to be a recommendation for Veuve Clicquot or Moet Chandon. Those champagnes are popular for a reason, but I want you to think outside the box this year and try something new.
John Lake, owner of The Tasting Room recommended three very different styles of bubbly at three different price points: Masia Salat Organic Cava, Albert Bichot Crémant de Bourgogne and Champagne Barons de Rothschild.
The first bottle, Masia Salat, was a rosé cava that was very drinkable and perfect for a variety of holiday events.
Mr Lake explained he wanted to step away from recommending a prosecco and offer something different and new.
“This cava is good for a coworker or a friend who likes wine. Someone who might not have had cava before but enjoys sparkling wine.”
As far as enjoying it for the holidays, he said: “This would go nicely with Christmas breakfast. Instead of mimosas try this instead with a splash of grapefruit juice. It’s a nice twist, something different.”
Masia Salat sells for $25 a bottle.
Next, we sampled Albert Bichot Crémant de Bourgogne, which was fantastic to say the least.
“It’s champagne but on a budget. It’s the exact same grapes that champagne are made from in the exact same way, but it’s not made in the champagne region so it can’t be called champagne. If you poured this blind to most people they would call it champagne.”
Mr Lake continued: “If you’re having a big party at home and want to serve champagne but don’t want to pay champagne prices, fill a cooler with cremant. It’s got that pear, apple, brioche that’s in champagne. A case of this is perfect for a party.”
Albert Bichot Crémant de Bourgogne retails for $23.95
Finally, we sampled Champagne Barons de Rothschild, what Mr, Lake called “big baller champagne”. The Tasting Room is the exclusive retailer for this champagne and it’s the official champagne of Sail GP.
“This is the crème de la crème, the premium champagne for the holiday season. This brand does have different expressions of this champagne, but the brut is the focus and is their flagship.
“This is for someone that you’re treating, spoiling. We have it in different sizes – half bottle all the way to six liters.”
Mr Lake said if you are a true champagne lover, he highly recommends purchasing Champagne Barons de Rothschild for the holiday season as in his opinion, it’s the best offering.
Champagne Barons de Rothschild starts at $47.45 for a half bottle and goes all the way up to magnums. A special holiday gift set with two flutes is also available for $134.
Jonathan Leadley, general manager of Discovery Wines recommended three champagnes: Piper-Heidsieck Essential Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut, Devaux ‘Ultra D’ Extra Brut Champagne and Devaux ‘Cœur Des Bar’ Blanc de Noir Champagne.
He said the house of Piper-Heidsieck is known for its innovation in selecting and blending wines of exceptional quality.
“Essential is a multi-vintage cuvée featuring a blend of three varieties – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. Its magnificent structure, balance and freshness ensure that this Extra Brut represents the iconic style of the House.”
Mr Leadley said to expect lots of zesty citrus, lemon and lime with notes of almond and fresh hazelnut accompanying the subtle pear and apple flavors. As far as pairing, he recommends Sea Scallops with creamy parmesan risotto or Verrine of pink Champagne lentils and shallot vinaigrette.
Piper-Heidsieck Essential Cuvée Réservée Extra Brut retails for $70.
Devaux ‘Ultra D’ Extra Brut Champagne features a blend of two varieties – pinot noir and chardonnay.
“Devaux Cuvee Ultra D Extra Brut is essentially a low dosage version of the Cuvee
D expressing remarkable purity and precision, scintillating fine acidity, a pleasing mineral dry salinity and a lovely delicate lift of white stone fruit and white flowers on the finish. A must try champagne this holiday season.”
Mr Leadley suggested pairing this brut with Pan-fried scallops with truffled Puy green lentils or Roasted partridge with thyme and leeks.
Devaux Cuvee Ultra D Extra Brut retails for $59.65
For something a little different, Mr, Leadley recommended Devaux ‘Cœur Des Bar’ Blanc de Noir Champagne, made of 100% pinot noir.
“This champagne is ba right and intense gold color with amber highlights. A rich and powerful nose reveals aromas of red fruits. On the palate, a perfect harmony between the fruit and honeyed notes, with a defined and fresh finish. A sensation of fullness and depth reminds of the rooting vines of the Côte des Bar.”
For food pairings for the holidays, Mr Leadley recommends pairing the champagne with Supreme of chicken with truffled jus or Artic char with lemon and beetroot salad.
Devaux ‘Cœur Des Bar’ Blanc de Noir Champagne retails for $55.25
And there you have it, a variety of bubbly for the holidays in different styles and price points. You can’t go wrong with any of these six options but of course preference and budget will determine what you end up drinking over the holidays. If you have any questions, go visit The Tasting Room or Discovery Wines.
I‘m Mikaela, an island girl in Bermuda who’s obsessed with sharing gourmet food, fantastic wine and luxe experiences. If you love all things food and wine, click here to join my email list to get awesome recommendations.