Welcome back to our wine expert, Neil Hodgson, this week he’s talking champagne and bubbles! Over to you Neil!
Christmas and New Year are times to celebrate, for some it is a religious celebration, for others it is a celebration that we have managed to get through another year and it is a time to reflect on what has happened during the last twelve months.
It goes without saying that a celebration deserves bubbly wines and while there are some stunning sparkling wines made in New Zealand enjoying Champagne from France seems just a little more decadent. What’s more decent champagne doesn’t cost much more than good New Zealand sparkling wines.
One really good thing about champagne is that the label tells you quite a bit about the wine, something not always obvious on sparkling wine labels; the key words to look out for are Brut, which means dry, Sec which means sweet or Demi-Sec which means semi-sweet.
Understanding these three key descriptions will help you find a champagne that suits your tastes and make your celebration much more enjoyable, there is nothing worse than feeling you have to drink a champagne you don’t like because you paid quite a bit for it and you don’t want to waste it.
When it comes to premium champagnes you sometimes pay a lot for the name because the producer may have had centuries to develop a reputation for quality, but you can also buy premium wines like Moet Chandon Brut for about $50, and H. Lanvin & Fils for less than $40, when they are on promotion at this time of year.
There are a large number of smaller champagne producers selling wines direct now, rather than being contracted to one of the larger champagne houses, so keep your eyes open for some stellar deals from unknown producers.
Fresh Choice Nelson has a huge range of high quality, affordable champagnes for you to celebrate with this festive season.