Have a special occasion coming up? Here’s your guide to picking the right bubbly to up the merrymaking

The popping of champagne is the perfect way to ring in any big day. Valentine’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries, proposals, holidays—a toast with a fluteful of champagne is synonymous with celebration. There are some champagnes that may require you to break the bank and then there are those that give you the best bang for your buck. Here’s a list of the golden crew:

Less than INR 5,000

1. Duval-Leroy Brut Champagne Non-Vintage (NV) Reserve: A sip of this fizz and you will find that it’s an excellent blend of Pinot and Chardonnay. This complex champagne is enriched with around fifteen crus and a generous quantity of reserve wines, and it draws out flavours of dark chocolate, cinnamon and roasted yellow figs, expressing its subtle, melt-in-the-mouth vinosity. It’s great when paired with soft cheeses.
2. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut Champagne NV: Opening with a pleasing note of fruits, followed by vanilla and brioche, this champagne is strong on the palate because of the use of grapes from 50 to 60 different crus for this produce.
3. G.H. Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne: This bright gold champagne has copious amounts of bubbles. The nose reveals aromas of peach, apricot and pineapple and are balanced by notes of vanilla, caramel and honey.
4. Gosset Excellence Brut Champagne NV: Muted gold and fizzy, this bottle of bubbly opens with an expressive nose of apricot and peach, and lingers on with a balance of rich taste of citrus flavours and almonds.

Between INR 5,000 to 10,000

1. Taittinger Brut Champagne NV: Intense golden yellow bubbly with fine bubbles, this bottle delivers aromas of fruit and brioche. The vinosity is crisp and is delicately reminiscent of peach, white flowers and vanilla.
2. Ayala Rosé Majeur Champagne NV: Copper-hued liquid has a heart of light cherry and on the palate it is a robust balance of the tannins of red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, etc.) and Chardonnay. It has fine, enduring bubbles and is best paired with appetisers or salmon and lamb.
3. Ayala Brut Majeur Champagne NV: This pale gold bubbly with its fine balance of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brings vinosity and delicacy together. It can be paired with seafood as well as Asian cuisine, especially sushi.
4. Moet & Chandon Rosé Impérial Brut Champagne NV: This champagne, with an intense bouquet of red fruits (wild strawberry, raspberry, cherry), floral nuances of rose and a slight hint of pepper, persists with its intensity of the juicy fruits just as it bursts in the mouth. It is best paired with red meat, herbs, fruits and fresh goat cheese.

More than INR 10,000


1. Ayala Cuvee Perle D’Ayala Brut NV: The best grapes from the Ayala vineyards are reserved for the cuvee and the wine is also left long in cellars for proper ageing, thereby imparting subtle notes of vanilla, courtesy the natural corks. This muted golden champagne has delicate bubbles and is fresh on vinosity offering a nose of lovely bouquet of white fruits and citrus. It is best paired with delicate entrees and fish in sauce.
2. Dom Perignon Brut Champagne 2000: Combining the robustness of the finest grapes and the excellent art of blending, this bottle of bubbly has notes of liquorice and dried ginger that linger on the skin of fruit (pear and mango). It then settles smooth, yet grand.
3. Louis Roederer Cristal Brut Champagne: Famous for its Cristal range of bubblies, this intense and flavoursome drink is the perfect harmony of sugared flowers, cocoas, finely toasted hazelnuts, and candied citrus fruits. It is best paired with seafood—oysters, scallops, crabs and lobsters.
4. Krug Brut Champagne NV: This champagne, with fine bubbles, lends itself to several cuisines and culinary combinations. It is rich and tangy with surprising notes of toasted bread, hazelnut, nougat, barley sugar and jellied fruits.

Photograph courtesy: Pexels

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