People tend to overthink champagne. They save it for a special occasion, sometimes keeping it in their refrigerator for far too long. This can ultimately lead to the cork drying out and impeding the true essence of the wine. There are exceptions, but champagne is meant to be consumed immediately, not intended to be cellared for long periods of time.
I’ve tried a variety of champagnes, from the low-end brands ideally used in Mimosas that tend to flavor-mask their inferiority, to the high-brow, caviar-cavorting Grand Crus. My favorite is somewhere in-between: Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label.
This French champagne is a masterful blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier. Its effervescence ascends a fluted glass through a pale, straw-yellow sheen. Notes of apple and pear tickle the nose, giving way to a slightly nutty aroma. On the palate it yields a dry, well-balanced, semi-acidic wine.
This may not be a top-tier champagne, but it’s approachable in both structure and balance. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label is a great champagne offered at a reasonable price and makes a good aperitif or a nice accompaniment to many types of cheeses and seafood dishes. Sampling different wines is the key to finding exactly what your palate prefers. So, go ahead and explore.
If you’ve got a bottle of champagne confined in your refrigerator, take it out, pop the cork and make today a celebration!