“What is the best champagne for a Christmas gift?”
It’s that time of the year again, the run into Christmas and New Years.
Life is busy and you’re pretty much in need of a few drinks come December 25th for either the lunch table or to wrap up as a gift.
Let me save you some time with this years Champagne Tipplers Cheat Sheet for the best bang-for-your-buck this festive season.
For simplicity I have avoided the more specialised, hard to find offerings and focused on the brands you can score at your local bottle shop.
Up to $40
For your budget dazzlers and mass-gifts; here are some of the best cheap champagne deals:
$36 a bottle from Vintage Cellars (On Sale)
This was a surprise package. A cooperative made champagne (by CVCA) it has quite a good flavour and punch to it. A recent bottle re-brand has certainly helped it look too; one of the few things keeping it from being gift-worthy.
$40 a bottle from First Choice Liquor (On Sale)
A zesty number – this is a bitey champagne built from premier cru vineyards; styled for seafood matching and nice on its own. The Cattier’s are a passionate family in the region that make wide range of wines – up to the ultra expensive “Ace of Spades” champagne.
$41 to $60
Not too expensive, but not too cheap. A few awesome drops in this range:
Collet Brut NV
$50 a bottle from Vintage Cellars (On Sale)
Something a bit left field; Collet is one of the oldest cooperative manufacturers in Champagne experiencing some growing exposure in the Australian market. We’ve tried the house Blanc de Blancs and found it to be pretty good and decent value.
No need to mention: Of course the stalwart big-house gifters are also in here; but in terms of quality my pick of the bunch are: Piper Heidsieck Brut NV and Lanson Black Label.
$61 to $100
For when you really want to open up the wallet and find some unique champagnes to gift to people you may actually care about!
Billecart Salmon Brut NV
$70 a bottle from Vintage Cellars
If you’ve never tried a Billecart, then you haven’t really lived. A great family run house that prides itself on having an almost even assemblage from all the grapes varietal in it’s Brut NV and each year it stuns. Aged 2.5 years, and able to sit for another 2-4.
Lanson Extra Age Brut NV
I was lucky to sample some of this on my recent trip to Reims, and I must admit the extra time on lees makes it more expressive in flavour (stronger) a great proposition – both for you or any lucky person you gift it to.
No need to mention: Bollinger, Pol Roger, Veuve Cliquot & Louis Roederer NV’s make great gifts. Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and Rosé also slay as Xmas gifts – grab one in duty free on the way through.
Not really what this blog is about… but lets go shopping! It’s Christmas, after all….
In true Champagne Tipplers style – this is a cost vs experience recommendation:
Pol Roger Cuvée Sir Winston Churchill – 2008
We’ve been able to splash out a select few times on this bad-boy over the last year. It’s an amazing wine and one that our tasters have invested in and gifted to friends for big events this year. Sure; it’s not cheap – but its smile generating, savour the moment stuff.
Named after Sir Winston Churchill who loved the house so much: he drank 42,000 bottles of their wines.