Champagne Cheat Sheet:
Well, it’s almost New Years Eve and with it comes resolutions, parties, and champagne. I consider myself a wine and champagne connoisseur from years of working in nightlife and also living the fast life. I’ve had the opportunity to taste hundreds of types of wine, sparkling wine and my favorite, champagne so I know a little bit about it. Today I’m going to share my favorites in every price range and some tips on how to get the most out of your bottle and buy the right type for you and your guests.
What size(s) to get:
If you’re going to spend a lot on champagne you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth. If you’re hosting a large gathering and planning a champagne toast at midnight, congrats, you’re doing it right. In that case, you want to get several small bottles and one or two magnums. A regular bottle which is 750ml can give you 5-8 glasses of Champagne depending on how generous you pour. One-third to one-half of a flute is a regular pour, some people like it full and in that case, you may only get 4-5 glasses per bottle. A magnum is simply twice that size, 1.5L.
I don’t normally suggest magnums or other large format bottles for two reasons: One, they’re hard to pour, it’s a waste of time and could lead to an accident. Two if you’re not pouring it all out ASAP for a toast of some kind, it’s sure to go flat before you finish it… LAME! However, for a large toast all at once they can be a good value, but do your math because some brands charge extra just for the “bragging rights” that come with a large format bottle and you end up getting less for your money than you would if buying multiple small bottles.
If you’re a newbie to grape made alcohol you may prefer sweeter wines and champagnes. Look for the words doux, sec, and demi-sec, or in plain terms “sweet”. Also, anything with nectar in the name is sure to be very sweet. A great and high-end sweet champagne is Moët (pronounced moh-et) & Chandon Nectar Imperial Rose. Prosecco is also an affordable and generally pretty sweet champagne-like beverage. I also like Ballatore Gran Spumante and Moscato which has softer bubbles but can go flat more quickly.
If your palate is a bit more refined you may enjoy a Brut which is a classic white champagne that’s drier but still slightly sweet. Cava is also a nice segue into drinking dryer champagnes. Cava bottles are often very affordable and crisp tasting. Freixenet Brut Noir is amazing and generally only $10.
If you’re a refined wine drinker and prefer a dry white or red wine you may consider a rosé champagne. Rosé is made with red grapes but the skins are removed early as to not dye the drink dark burgundy but instead keep it a light rose color. My personal favorite is Dom Perignon Rosé. (I love it so much I can spell it without auto correct!) It’s crisp, light, and easy to drink… very easy lol. I also like Veuve Cliquot Rosé and Pierre Jouet Rosé as far as high-end bottles go. If you’re being cost conservative, I suggest Llopart Brut Rose Reserva which is generally only $20 a bottle and tastes fantastic.
If you’re a refined wine drinker and prefer a dry white or red wine you may consider a rosé champagne. Rosé is made with red grapes but the skins are removed early as to not dye the drink dark burgundy but instead keep it a light rose color. My personal favorite is Dom Perignon Rosé. (I love it so much I can spell it without auto correct!) It’s crisp, light, and easy to drink… very easy lol. I also like Veuve Cliquot Rosé and Pierre Jouet Rosé as far as high-end bottles go. While being cost conservative, I suggest Llopart Brut Rose Reserva which is generally only $20 a bottle and tastes fantastic.
If all else fails:
If all this seems very confusing, I highly suggest you head to Costco for your wine and champagne. Costco’s tags give all the details about the bottle as well as the wine rating, (the closer to 100, the better.) I have found bottles for around $12 with a 93 rating at Costco, which is pretty good… Plus, they have a large stock and bulk pricing. Don’t forget to get a value pack of Strawberries to bring out the flavor and cleanse the palate. (It also looks pretty but drop the berry in after or be aware that pouring over a berry can cause the glass to bubble over.)
Honestly, I dislike Ace of Spades and Crystal. Ace goes flat too fast and crystal is never very bubbly to begin with. I find most bottles that are very shiny are trying to overcompensate for a mediocre beverage. So, make sure you don’t overpay for packaging!
I hope you all have a safe and fun New Year’s Eve and I’ll be back to regularly scheduled posting in the new year!
Love you all! Thank you so reading and your continued support! 2017 will be huge for Kier Couture so I hope you stick around and see!