How to choose the right bubbly for the festive season

How to match food, what's new and what are the dos and don'ts of serving sparkling wine
Cath Muscat

We talk to expert Jeff Dibble of Domaine Wine Shippers for his insider tips on the subject on everyone’s lips: what’s the best Champagne to buy and serve this Christmas? 

Whether you’re set to impress or looking to celebrate Christmas by enjoying the crème de la crème of champagne for yourself, it can be difficult to sort the bubbles from the fizz. Jeff Dibble certainly sees his fair share of sparkling wine and shares his know-how the best choices for your Christmas merriment.

“I reckon Christmas Day is the one day of the year when it’s perfectly okay to start with a glass of bubbles,” says Jeff. “This is a great opportunity to use different types of champagnes throughout the day.”

Jeff’s best food matches with champagne

Oysters: Blanc de blanc is a perfect match

Smoked salmon: Richness and smokiness of the salmon need a champagne with some weight behind it, so opt for a vintage style

Roast turkey or ham: A rosè works perfectly

“You want one rich enough to take the strong flavours but with enough fruit and acidity for balance. Try Billecart-Salmon Rosè NV”

Christmas pudding:  Choose a champagne that can take the strong fruit-driven flavours of the pudding and has a lingering sweetness.

Look for a good ‘demi sec’ (meaning ‘half-dry’) like Verve Cliquot Demi-Sec NV

“Believe it or not, champagne can work really well with Christmas pudding”

What’s the one thing you should never do when serving sparkling wine or champagne?

“Never chill champagne in the freezer,” warns Jeff, “You’ll kill the bubbles. Champagne is best drunk cold but not too chilled. Over-chilling will dull aromas and flavours.”

“Use a champagne bucket with a mixture of water and ice and the bottle should reach the right temperature in 30 minutes”

For more inspiration click here.

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