My Top 10 picks for Champagne this Valentine’s Day- 2024
Here is my 2024 list of carefully selected champagnes, sparklings wines and even a non-alcoholic sparkler.
If you have followed me for any length of time, you know champagne is my go to drink- I think getting through most Wednesdays deserves a celebratory glass of the bubbles.
This list was in the works back in November. I have tried all of these champagnes and can highly recommend them to you. It’s tough work, but I’m here for you. As in past years, I continue to lean into small grower champagnes, but have found a surprising new bottle of sparkly goodness from an unexpected country. And I’m adding a fun wine club you might want to look into joining. Scroll down to learn more about Iola wines.
I pulled out all my best obnoxious wine vocabulary for this post.
The Classic French Champagnes
- Ployez-Jacquemart Brut– $45. 91 on Wine Spectator. A nose of smoked almond and salt blends on the creamy palate to flavors of white cherry, preserved lemon and clover honey in this graceful Champagne. This champagne is from a third generation wine house. The Cuvee is aged 6 years. Laurence Ployez operates the vineyard and she owns 5.3 acres herself and buys fruit under long term contract from an additional 29 acres. Laurence is a proponent of working by hand, not tractor from start to finish. Available at Tim’s Wine in Orlando or online.
- J. Lasselle– $45 92 on Wine Spectator Another pick recommended to me by the staff at Tim’s. They know what I like. Pear and black raspberry fruit, with hints of crystallized honey. Shows gingersnap biscuit and verbena flavors on the chalky texture. fruity, creamy, toasty.
- Vorin-Jumel- Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs– $48. 92 Wine Enthusiasts. I always have a bottle or two of this beautiful champagne in my wine chiller. From vines in top Côte des Blancs vineyards in Cramant and Chouilly, this wine is rich and strongly mineral. Swathes of apple and citrus fruits are wrapped into a well-structured, crisply textured wine. Available at Tim’s or online.
- Laurent-Perrier- La Cuveé Brut– $60. 91 Wine Spectator . The brioche and cooked-apple and cream character really comes through this classic champagne. Full-bodied and round with fine bubbles. I am a fan of these fine bubbles. Flavorful and intense. Vivid, bread-dough finish. This is four years on lees- which enhances the aroma. 55% chardonnay and the rest pinot. I attended a tasting with the director of the vineyard and fell in love with these wines.
Fun French Wines to discover:
- Champagne Piot-Sevillano Essence de Terrior Brut– $48. 70% Meunier | 15% Pinot Noir | 15% Chardonnay. Collecting more awards than I can count, I found this wine, recommended by Iola Wines, on a podcast of the Hot Stove Society. The Piot-Sévillano family is the latest in a line of 10 generations of Champagne makers. Fresh and crispy with rich golden color, rich bold palette. Earthy notes, stone fruits like peach, green apple and yeast.
- Fouetté & Sorbee Fidele Brut Nature– $95. Fidèle is 100% Pinot Noir mainly from the lieux-dits of Fonnet and Briaunes with additional Pinot from the other parcels Bertrand farms. Fermented in oak, then 20 months sur latte. Deep color, distinct red fruits, forward and lush. Vinous, lively, and dangerously tasty. Sounds promising!
- Almacita– $16 From Argentina. This hand harvested sparkling wine is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from multiple vineyards within the Uco Valley. The nose is bursting with notes of peach, pineapple, mango, mandarin, and watermelon that lead into a bright and fresh palate laced with green apple and a touch of fresh baked bread. Tight bubbles, a touch of sweetness, and toasted almonds with fine chalky tannins round out this delicious wine. Available online or at Pike & Western Wine Market in Seattle. And yes- only $16 per bottle.
- Brut Nature Millesimato 2019 Perla Del Garda $38 Italian . Dry and crisp, Woman owned organic vineyard, this sparkler has delicate and fresh scents of hay, chamomile and yellow stone fruit. On the palate you’ll be rewarded with vibrant acidity, graceful perlage (evocative of pearls), notes of dried apricot, yellow apple, grapefruit and a boundary-pushing saline finish. This dynamic sparkling wine is exceptionally food friendly so partners well with crab, lobster, risotto, pasta and pesto. or aged Italian cheeses.
- Bride Vine Vineyard 2017 Brut Reserve Sparkling $43. England. 96 Wine Enthusiast. Bone dry and bracing. summer apple orchard, lemon and toast with saline back notes. Try a British sparkling- plantings have quadrupled since 2000. You’ll find Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Chalky limestone and cold nights make for exceptional wine growing conditions bringing up bright acidity and freshness.
Keep scrolling for my pick for best non-alcoholic sparkling wine. And surprise, it’s not sparkling apple cider.
Other posts of mine about Champagne:
- All About Bubbles- A conversation with Tim Varan
- Focus on Wa State Sparkling Wines
- Top Picks for Valentine’s Day 2023
Non-Alcoholic Best Sparkling
- Joyus Non-Alcoholic Sparkling wine– yes- wine. $27. At the International Wine Competition held in San Francisco, Joyus wines, won multiple awards for its wine- that goes through a process to remove the alcohol. The sparkling wine is made in the Pacific northwest with notes of ripe blackberries, summer strawberries and California citrus blossoms are the perfect balance of west coast flavors. Available at Cheeky and Dry, Seattle’s first dedicated non alcohol bottle shop. Order online.