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The Champagne Cheat Sheet: Your Guide to Poppin Bottles

By Patricia Tortolani | November 25, 2020 |

On New Years Eve, no matter where you are, there will almost certainly be champagne involved. We asked Vinya's in-house Sommelier Allegra Aneglo—winner of TopSomm, the U.S. national sommelier competition—to school us on liquid gold.

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Best over-the- top bottle of champagne to buy for NYE?

Vieilles Vignes Françaises 2010 by Bollinger. Produced from two rare plots of un-grafted Pinot Noir vines, its scarcity makes it one of the most sought-after and most delicious wines in the world with a mind-blowing texture and softness on the palate.

Best Champagne for the wine lover/connoisseur?

Cuvée Crayères by Eric Rodez. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the famous Crayères vineyard in Ambonnay, this Champagne embodies the perfect balance of richness and elegance. It has a high percentage of reserve wine which will appeal to those who like Krug or Charles Heidsieck.

Best Champagne for a large gathering?

Delamotte. Chardonnay forward, Delamotte is a total people pleaser for its freshness and precision. It’s a great choice for those looking for an alternative to the bigger brand names.

Best Champagne flight tasting?

A blind tasting of the big “guy” versus the small “guy.” I would love to do a blind tasting of a commercial brand like Moët Impérial vs. a small artisanal Champagne, like Suenen Brut Réserve. Blind tasting is the best way to expand your palate (and keep it humble and honest!)

The ultimate large format bottle to crack open this New Year’s Eve?

Anything that comes in a 3L! But if you’re going to totally splurge, then Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Blanc de Blancs 2002 would be epic.Most people don’t realize that “Belle Epoque” comes in three different styles, and the Blanc de Blancs is extremely rare. Perrier- Jouët, often gets overlooked, but all the “Belle Epoque” wines are pretty magical and offer incredible value for the top tier consumer.

The best Rosé Champagne

Guy Larmandier, Premier Rosé. I prefer Champagne Rosé which is dominated by Chardonnay (and not Pinot Noir) because I like the biscuity notes that come from Chardonnay. This version from Guy Larmandier is one of the best value Champagne Rosé wines on the market and has that eye catching pretty pink salmon hue.

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Photography by: From top, photo by: Coco Tafoya/Unsplash; Louise Lyshoj/Unsplash; Tristan Gassert/Unsplash