Champagne and sparkling wine tips

CHAMPAGNE & SPARKLING WINE TIPS

 

Whether you’re having the neighbours round for Christmas drinks, hosting a dinner party or simply sharing a nice bottle of fizz with your other half, here are some suggestions on what to drink and to serve it

Good for large gatherings

 

Working out what kind of fizz to serve can be a bit of a balancing act when you’re hosting lots of people. Go for quality and quantity – drinks that taste great and are great value. The ones below represent among the best cava, Prosecco and New World sparkling wines – and they’re all under £15 each.

One bottle serves between six and eight glasses, but how much you need also depends on how long the event is and if there are many guests who prefer non-alcoholic drinks or are driving. A good rule of thumb is to budget for about a third to half a bottle per person. 

Good sparkling wines for crowds

Good for smaller gatherings

If you're having a dinner party and want to spend a little more on a bottle, then there are some great options for Champagnes around £30 – such as the vintage Nicolas Feuillatte.

Also worth considering is crémant – French fizz produced outside the Champagne region. And sparkling wines too – including those from England, which is now making some seriously delicious fizz. Try the Leckford Estate Brut from the Waitrose farm in Hampshire.

Serving bubbles in the right glasses can also make a difference. The current trend is to serve sparkling wine in flutes with a broad  bowl or in standard white wine glasses with tapered tulip-shaped bowls. You don’t need to spend a fortune, but ones with a thin a rim feel more elegant. 

Good sparkling wines for smaller gatherings

Good for a special family Christmas

Christmas is the one time in the year when you can really justify spending a lot of money on bubbles. These bottles may be a little pricey, but they’re delicious and reinforce why Champagne is still the world’s pre-eminent sparkling wine region.

And if you’re splashing out on decent bottle, you want to make sure it’s properly chilled. Ideally, Champagne should be around 8-10°C. If you don’t have enough room in your fridge, then an ice bucket will do just nicely. Then, before you serve it, gently invert the bottle so the temperature is even throughout – often it feels freezing at the bottom while the neck is still warm.

Good sparkling wines for a special family Christmas