Brothers, come quickly! I’m drinking stars!
Wine expert James Hindle reveals the bottles that you need to put on ice to mark that special occasion
“Brothers, come quickly! I’m drinking stars!” The famous words of the 17th-century Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon (or possibly a 19th-century advertising team), perfectly capture the excitement that people feel when they pop open a bottle of bubbles. There are now more than 19,000 champagne producers who have taken inspiration from Dom Pérignon’s early strides towards creating a bottle of fizz, so the question is which ones will make your party go with a bang. James Hindle of Pop Up Wine choose his favourites…
NEW YEAR’S EVE
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner, and champagne corks are sure to be flying when we welcome the arrival of 2017. So stand out from the crowd this December by popping open a bottle of vintage champers. Vintage champagne is not aged, but made instead from the grapes of one year’s harvest. Vintage champagne is only produced in years in which there is a superb harvest.
Top tipple: Dumangin Le Vintage 1ER Cru 2004 (Champagne, France)
Weddings are expensive and even more so when you want to serve champagne to your thirsty guests. If you need to order 40 or more bottles just to make a toast there is a solution: Italian Prosecco. Made from the Glera grape in the Veneto region of northern Italy, this refreshing sparkler is perfect on a sunny day. And Prosecco retails at half the price Champagne does!
Top Tipple: Fantinel Prosecco Extra Dry NV (Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy)
While Wi-Fi technology may Australia’s greatest invention, sparkling Shiraz comes a close second. Tragically it is little known outside of the Land Down Under. Put a huge smile on your wine-loving friend’s face by gifting them a deep ruby sparkling wine. For sparkling Shiraz is bottled fermented in the same manner as Champagne.
Top Tipple: Majella Sparkling Shiraz 2009 (Coonwarra, South Australia)
What better way to celebrate locking the door of your new home behind you, than to open a bottle of “Grower Champagne”? This bottle of bubbles is produced from grapes exclusively sourced on the winemaker’s own property and processed on their premises. Large champagne houses, such as Mumm, use grapes sourced from as many as 80 different vineyards. While they lack the consistent “house style” that the large houses strive so hard to achieve, they instead offer a unique charm. A Grower Champagne can be identified by the initials RM (meaning Récoltant-Manipulant) on the wine label.
Top Tipple: David Leclapart “L’Artiste” Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs Premier Cru (Champagne, France)
Success should be savoured, especially when it has taken many months hard work to achieve. Celebrate your win and also do your bit for the environment this quarter by opening a bottle of organic champagne. Jean-Baptiste Lecaillon, cellar master of champagne producer Louis Roederer predicts that “the future will be organic”.
Top Tipple: Duval-Leroy “AB” Brut Champagne – Certified Organic, Vegan, (Champagne, France).