Dhondt-Grellet, Dans un Premier Temps, Extra Brut
Why I love this wine: The solera reserve they use in this wine ads a lovely maturity to the fresh vintage that they use. It’s like George Clooney with a young model. Plus, Adrian Dhondt, the wine maker, is a nice image to think of while drinking.
When to drink: As an aperitif, while opening presents and while cooking (it turns you into a better chef).
What to eat with it: charcuterie board, chicken liver parfait, baked camembert, spiced nuts and fresh winter morning air.
Georges Laval, Garennes, Extra Brut
Why I love this wine: 90% Pinot Meunier makes this wine super interesting and Extra Brut keeps it nice, fresh, and bright. Georges Laval is a producer whose champagnes are quite rare to come by, so I often drink this when I have a chance to come by it.
When to drink: Breakfast, afternoon “pick me up”, while playing board games, with starters and while cooking (makes you cook better than James Knappett)
What to eat with it: Oysters, prawn cocktail, caviar, smoked salmon and waffles
JL Vergnon, Hautes Mottes, Brut Nature, 2011
Why I love this wine: This wine reminds me of rich white burgundy from Mersault. The balanced richness makes it a perfect champagne for main courses.
When to drink: with your main meal.
What to eat with it: Roast turkey, rib eye, roast pork, truffle pasta, grilled lobster, langoustines poached in butter and maybe a nut roast.
Olivier Horiot, Soléra, Brut Nature
Why I love this wine: Olivier is one of my favourite producers, from one of my favourite regions of Champagne, Aube. This particular cuvee is made entirely from solera, a process used most commonly to make sherry. Plus, it uses a few forgotten grapes of champagne.
When to drink: with your main meal, after dinner and with Netflix and chill.
What to eat with it: Asian flavours, Chinese roast duck, cheese platter.
Tarlant Rosé Zero
Why I love this wine: It encompasses all the flavours you would associate with Autumn and Winter into an elegant glass of bubbles. When you drink it, its like getting a nice warm hug from your best friend.
When to drink: Breakfast, dessert, wrapping presents and on the couch with your partner when your kids have gone to bed.
What to eat with it: Eggs Benedict, French toast, sherry trifle, Christmas pudding, mince pies and rhubarb crumble.
Francoise Bedel et Fils, 'Entre Ciel et Terre', Extra Brut
Why I love this wine: Francoise Bedel is the mother of all mothers; mother of biodynamic of Champagne and “mother goose” to all producers of Champagne. Her style of long lees aging makes her wine nutty and rich. The label of this wine is also quite festive.
When to drink: Before/After dinner, post shopping, while planning your Christmas menu and during your “I’m over it” stage.
What to eat with it: Sausage rolls, bubble and squeak, spiced nuts, cheese platter and gingerbread men.