Champagne – light, bubbly, and decadent — for many it’s the best way to ring in the new year, along with our greatest moments in life. It certainly brings a little more joie de vivre with every sip taken. And let’s be honest, popping that cork in and of itself can create a rush of adrenaline. Dating back to the 17th century in France, sparkling wine has had a long path to perfection. Today, it’s no obstacle finding a perfectly bubbly and high-quality bottle, but knowing how to find the best Champagne takes a bit of background.
“Wine with the right to carry the name ‘Champagne’ is exclusively produced in the Champagne region of northeast France. The grape varieties used are the black grapes Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, and the white grape Chardonnay. The particularities of the region – vine-friendly hills, cool climate, sufficient but not excessive quantity of rainfall, excellent drainage, and chalky soil – make the environment, or terroir, of Champagne ideal for the production of sparkling wine,” World History explains.
While many countries have their own versions of sparkling wines, such as Prosecco in Italy or Cava in Spain, many consider the French Champagne top-tier due to not only its history, but the extra time and effort that goes into its production. “As we have seen, the long and meticulous method took centuries to perfect, but by the 19th century, the techniques were in place which would be religiously adhered to thereafter and which continue to distinguish Champagne from its less illustrious competitors,” World History adds.
For centuries, Champagne has been associated with celebrating. While originating in France, the popping of a Champagne bottle is now globally recognized to signify important celebratory events all over the world. For many countries, Champagne is also used to celebrate the holiday season, with glasses clinking from everywhere from office parties to family gatherings. The good news? A glass of bubbly will also only cost you about 80 calories, whereas wine, beer and sugary cocktails contain more. It’s something to consider with research indicating that the average American was expected to gain about eight pounds throughout the last holiday season. While people admit to overindulging, Champagne is a great choice in drink that can help you stick to your health plan while still enjoying.
To seek out the best bottles for this holiday season and New Year’s Eve (or really, whenever!) StudyFinds sought out to find the best Champagne on the market. For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which Champagnes rated the best. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended bottles across these sites.
The List: Best Champagne, According To Experts
1. Piper-Heidsieck Rare Millésime 2008 Brut
Winner of the top-scoring Champagne at the International Wines and Spirits Competition 2021, the Rare Millésime 2008 Brut is a vintage bottle that is sure to please even the most discerning sippers.
“An expressive buttered brioche nose, gun smoke reduction, red fruit and toasted almond and pistachio notes. The very precise and elegant Champagne has a piercing acidity that underscores the long finish of lime zest, quince and apple,” the judging panel noted, as reported by Forbes.
Notably, wine producer Piper-Heidsieck also took home four out of the 16 Gold Medals awarded at the competition.
“If you’re willing to blow the budget on an ultra-special bottle, our experts think this is the one to splurge on. The 2008 ‘millesime’ (French for vintage) is super fresh, combining white blossom and apricot with more savory elements such as hazelnuts and toasted sourdough,” Elle Magazine writes.
2. Krug Grande Cuvée Champagne
With notes of baking spices, apple, and minerals – Krug is the bottle you break out when you aim to both indulge and impress.
“Krug can be described in no uncertain terms as the Holy Grail of Champagnes. The famous house dates back to 1843, and each year, this bottle is formulated from 250 different vineyard plots and as many as 150 reserve wines from up to 12 different vintages,” Liquor.com writes.
Champagne aficionados also commend this bottle for its refined taste and creamy texture.
“While small indie Champagnes are a major focus today, you’d be hard-pressed to see any Champagne professional or enthusiast turn down a glass of Krug — it’s an iconic house synonymous with some of the finest Champagnes in history,” Travel and Leisure writes.
3. Louis Roederer Collection Brut Champagne
Fruit-forward and as refreshing as they come, Louis Roederer’s Collection Brut Champagne is a dream to sip on.
“This replaces the brand’s flagship (and bestselling) brut premier, but we think it’s a decision that’s paid off. Aged for three years, this elegant multi-vintage cuvee is a pleasure to drink, with silky bubbles and crunchy green apple, underscored by a delicious buttery brioche element. Try it with a selection of canapés,” Elle Magazine writes.
Founded in 1833, Louis Roederer is a champagne producer that surely knows what it’s doing.
“A complex brut with fine, enduring bubbles, the palate here is dominated by green fruit (think: grape, lime and tart gooseberry) — though there’s a hint of brioche working in the background, too. A wine worthy of a special occasion, but don’t be afraid to pair it with richer seafood dishes, such as baked turbot or lobster thermidor,” Esquire writes.
4. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs Champagne Second Skin
Both impressive and smooth, Ruinart’s Blanc de Blancs Champagne is an excellent choice for this holiday season.
“Aging in the Champagne crayères (or chalk caves) achieves an aromatic complexity that many come to expect of Ruinart. Our tasting panel compared the flavor profile to a freshly baked frangipane tart, with notes of toasted brioche, ripe stone fruit and subtle vanilla spicing,” Esquire writes.
While eco-friendly and Champagne are not often associated, for what it’s worth, the packaging is also fully recyclable and made entirely of pulped paper.
“A classic Champagne brand for sophisticated palates. Founded in 1729, Ruinart is the oldest Champagne house in the world; it is now owned by LVMH. Ruinart was also the first house to produce rosé Champagne in 1764—think great Burgundy with bubbles,” Luxe Digital writes.
5. Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Champagne
Laurent-Perrier is a household name in the world of elite champagnes, and it’s the classic La Cuvée Champagne that remains on the top of experts lists as a crowd-pleasing and refreshing libation.
“Fresh and floral with notes of peach, bright citrus and pear, it makes an ideal aperitif, while the creamy, toasty finish also works well with delicate white fish, creamy chicken and vegan cheese,” Elle Magazine writes.
This non-vintage bottle from Laurent‑Perrier is characterized by its high proportion of Chardonnay and its long aging process, making for an excellent Champagne.
“As one of the long-favored big label bottles, Laurent-Perrier’s La Cuvée is undeniably iconic, making it a pretty foolproof gift for the festive host this year. Fresh and floral with notes of peach, bright citrus and pear, it makes a crowd-pleasing aperitif, while the creamier finish makes it a perfect match for light seafood dishes,” Esquire writes.
- Travel and Leisure
- Vino Vest
- Luxe Digital
- Harper’s Bazaar
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.