Just imagine that you can treat yourself to a fine bottle of Champagne each and every month, that eagerly anticipated parcel that gets delivered to you so that every month becomes a celebration, on top of when your pay packet arrives, giving you that feel good factor that it’s all been worthwhile (yes, let’s forget the bills and chores of life for a second or two hey).
There are already many such opportunities to receive monthly wine samples and several companies that concentrate purely on being a Champagne Club, though you will be at the mercy of what wine they wish to send out to you depending on what stock they have in and the best deals they can achieve… Champagne of the month might not always be the best for you, but more the best for the company’s inventories!
Having travelled to many Champagne houses in every season in the last few years and having tasted my way through 1,000’s of Champagne labels from rare vintages to the ones you’d find at your local supermarket, I thought I would flick through the pages of my bubbly memory bank to pick out the best Champagne in my mind for each month of the year:
January: It’s a month of short days that are still filled with damp / cold weather. We will all be trying to punish ourselves for overindulging in the fine foods and drinks at Christmas and some of us will be on a diet, new exercise regime and even attempting a dry January. So the very end of January may very well be the time to celebrate for many of us and in keeping with the mood of low calorie intake may I suggest the Brut Zero (less than half a gram of sugar per glass) from Champagne Vincent D’Astrée. Price £29.95
February: It is the month of Romance and many of us will want a super fizzy bottle chilled in the fridge ready for that special Valentines date so here I have gone with a great rosé from Champagne Roger Brun and what an applicable name it has ‘Romance‘. Here we have a dark rosé colouring to this great award winning Champagne (rosé de saignée) and it offers great red berry fruity flavours and highly refreshing taste sensation! Price £40
March: In my mind I see plenty of work in the garden this month in clearing up from winter and tending to those flower beds and pots, planting new bulbs and possibly admiring the ever regular appearance of the daffodils. The days will quite possibly still be crisp and cold so I went for a powerful and expressive Champagne here in order to run with the fresh Spring weather and invigorating outdoors. I can also see many bonfires had as we get rid of the clippings and dead leaves giving us many a smokey filled afternoon that could well lead us in to a fine oak style Champagne that for me is the Dom Caudron and their Cornalyne with it’s fresh and expressive flavours having 50% aged in oak barrels. Price £43
April: The month of April for me usually goes by very quickly, the in between time of the year as we work our way from Winter to Summer, days are longer, gardens are more colourful and nature is definitely alive around us and the sun blesses us more with its warm rays. A typical Champagne tasting experience to get you through / celebrate the end of the first month of the year to have 30 days is the Champagne Roger-Contant Lemaire with Cuvée Hautes Pieres Vintage 2010 which is such a lively and powerful Champagne full of fruity and punchy zesty flavours. £70
May: We are now into May and we will likely be tempted out a few times into the garden / out on the balcony to enjoy those late Spring warm sunny days and for this, I want to recommend a light and fruity Champagne. With all this in mind I wanted to go with an easy to drink yet fresh with floral / blossom aromas alongside fruity hints of apples, pears and citrus and for me, this is expressed in the Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte Brut NV. Price £24.99
June: We are now in Summer and fast approaching the longest day of the year! Many of us will have holidays in mind and certainly well into our garden parties and barbecues. I am picturing a warm sunny day out in the garden with friends and family with canapes on the table and barbecue underway so it is certainly time to celebrate so what better bottle to have chilling away than a bottle of ‘Celebration’ by Champagne Vollereaux which is also a Gold Medal Winning wine from The World’s Finest Glass of Bubbly Awards 2017! Price £32.50
July: Here is a month full of important sporting events that will tick the boxes of many readers from Wimbledon to the World Cup Final (2018) alongside the British Grand Prix, The Open in the golfing world and The Tour de France. Here I am picturing many important social and business get togethers and the chance to impress so I am running with what was chosen out to be the best Glass of Bubbly for 2017 and that is the 2010 Blanc de Blancs from Champagne Deutz. Price £59.95
August: As we are deep into Summer I wanted to find a Champagne that was an extra brut, so less sugar (aren’t we all conscious to what we look like in our bathing suits still) though still very much expressive in flavours. For this, I am going for the organic Canard Duchene Parcelle 181 which is a special edition that has been blended from 12 hectares of organically certified and cultivated vineyards. Here we are enjoying all the flavours that we expect from Champagne yet with less sugar and supporting organic farming. Price £37.99
September: Oh it’s September already… Back to school, days are getting shorter, it certainly feels like the end of Summer, many crops are harvested, leaves go from green to red and we are already seeing promotions for the festive season and annoying Facebook updates with countdowns to Christmas. I do not mean to sound depressing, but for me September was always the close of the Summer and on to the grind to Christmas so here I wanted to cheer things up with a very familiar brand in Champagne Lanson, but with a special 2008 vintage that carries a boastful array of flavours and aromas, a real delight and certainly a Champagne to sit down and relax over. Price £44
October: Summer and warm sunny days are a distant memory as the dark evenings continue to lengthen and the household heating is in full swing. Our temptation to hibernate grows, our sofas are seeing a lot more of us and many of us will enjoy cooking some whole hearty dishes in our warm kitchens with condensed windows peering out to the miserable cold weather drawing in. Assuming that this month will see some fine gastronomy taking place chez home then I suggest a gastronomic style Champagne to pair with any classic meal from the likes of rabbit casseroles to home made vegetarian lasagna. Here I wish to suggest the Millesime 2010 from Champagne Laurent Lequart which was a Trophy winner for Classic and Elegant at the Glass of Bubbly awards 2017. This is such a fine Champagne full of the most wonderful aromas and flavours of ripe yellow stone fruits, honey, brioche, toast, lemon zest and much more. This for me is an ideal evening Champagne designed for enjoying around a table with fine foods or sat in front of an open fire with a good book to read. Price £45
November: The month before Christmas for me is all about bonfire night aka Guy Fawkes Night and the excitement of children with sparklers and gazing into the star filled sky to admire the fireworks displays. I am choosing here a second Champagne from the produce Roger Brun as when I first saw this bottle it automatically shouted out bonfire night – Please do not ask me how and why! The colour for me at least you will agree speaks of the deep red burning flames and the flavours the bottle holds are bold and fiery – It is certainly a Champagne to pair with food and as we hopefully enjoy a wrapped up warm evening out in the garden we have a fiery rosé to warm us up. Price £48
December: What a busy month this is for many of us from shopping to cooking, finalising business projects to entertaining. It’s a gastronomical, celebratory, partying, socialising, present wrapping and giving month and much more so we need something special here Champagne wise. I have been lucky that I have visited countless Champagne houses and tasted so many fine glasses of bubbly that at times it is the hardest thing ever to pick out the best as so many are the best because of where they happened, the quality of wine, who served it, who I was with and much more. Though we need one prime example to accompany such an important month in many peoples calendar so for me I am going with the magnificent millesime 1996 Louis XV from de Venoge. It is a glorious tasting Champagne, a real treasure chest contained in a magnificently designed and elegant bottle. I remember that I first enjoyed this Champagne sat with the CEO of Champagne de Venoge in a Micheln Star restaurant in Epernay (Champagne region) which for me was such a pleasure and long lasting memory, though I feel any moment, be it alone or with friends and family, a quiet evening in or treating yourself to a glass whilst you are busy cooking in the kitchen, this is the Champagne that will make that moment ‘extra special’ and it is most certainly a Champagne fit to sit at any Christmas dinner table. Price £199.95