Somehow seduction and champagne have always been inexorably linked. Perhaps its down to eighteenth century royal courtesan Madame de Pompadour (favourite mistress to Louis XV). She was the first beauty to spruik champagne at royal court, famously proclaiming “Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it”. Her favourite brand Moet is still the number one selling champagne around the world today, but interestingly the current face of the brand is tennis legend Roger Federer.
Or maybe its thanks to twentieth century classic cultural icon James Bond, still just as popular with global movie audiences today as he was back in the 1960s. The world’s most sophisticated and sexy secret agent 007 (as originally played by Sean Connery) is renowned for his love of employing champagne as a favourite weapon of seduction – whether he happens to be using Dom Perignon, Taittinger Comtes de Champagne or Bollinger Grande Annee, we just instinctively know that choosing the right champagne for the moment means James always gets the girl!
In this author’s humble opinion there really is a champagne for every moment, every mood and YES every hip pocket, but this blog post is about my Top 5 champagnes for romance.
Now remember I consider all champagnes to be my children, so I don’t play favourites. These are just my special nec plus ultra champagnes for romance in no particular order (shortlisted from 25 years experience of tasting and talking about champagne around the world). I call these special wines my Casanova Champagnes!
Top 5 Champagnes For Romance (aka CJ’s Casanova Champagnes)
Simple, elegant and yet at the same incredibly complex, rich and disarmingly powerful(and that’s just the taste not to mention the brand image), this magnificent multi-faceted, multi-vintage champagne contains more than 160 years of collective taste memories passed down from one generation to the next. Krug is in fact the most talked about but least consumed champagne in the world, so whether you are sipping with your beloved on the summit of a mountain, barefoot at the beach or ensconced in a luxurious michelin starred restaurant, nothing says ‘I love you babe’ quite as simply and effectively as a bottle of Krug. What’s more Krug has the physiological capacity to shine with pretty much any dish on the menu. I think of this champagne as my any time any place ‘get out of jail free’ card!
Like a complete meal in a glass, this champagne is ultra complex, rich and powerful in style with intricate finesse and balance. An extravagant bouquet on the nose followed by an explosion of flavours on the palate, at once crisp and clean and yet mature and mellow. Mesmerising first taste and a true classic to revisit time and again!
Blend: 50% Pinot Noir, 15% Pinot Meunier, 35% Chardonnay
Find out more about Champagne Krug
Such an exquisitely designed very proudly feminine shaped bottle (hailing from a high quality independent female run Champagne house that’s little known in Australia) promises a unique discovery that’s got to be all about the precious nectar inside. This the flagship 100% grand cru prestige cuvee from Champagne’s modern day Widow: Carol Duval Leroy. She’s just as feisty as her illustrious predecessor Veuve Clicquot and her vivaciously elegant and crisp, with lush pastry undertones, prestige cuvee is bound to please the most discerning palates and at the same time tickle the fancy of those who like to taste beyond the mainstream of champagne. I think of this champagne as the ultimate indulgent individual gift for women made by women!
Lively and citrusy style on first approach, the nose offers summer flowers, honey and brioche, followed by vinous yet creamy elegance, firm acidity and toasted hazelnuts and a hint of coffee on the palate. Ultra feminine package and quite delicious!
Blend: 80% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Noir
Find out more about Champagne Duval Leroy
Louis Roederer is one of only a handful of major champagne houses to still retain family independence and its magnificent vineyard estates. This means total hands on control over wine production and quality, which translates to all the champagnes in the range being delicious on release. The story behind Roederer’s prestige cuvee is quite extraordinary. In the nineteenth century Russian Tsars were famously fond of M Roederer’s champagnes and demanded their own special bottlings for the royal table. Tsar Alexander II would send his cellarmaster to Reims every year to oversee the selection of his personal cuvees, which then had to be presented in special transparent crystal bottles with a flat punt(so no potential terrorists could hide a bomb in the bottom of a champagne bottle). The result of Russian patronage was the world’s first prestige cuvee “Cristal”. Of course everything went wrong after the Russian Revolution and the rest of the world didn’t get to enjoy Cristal until the middle of the 20th century when it was re-released as the incredibly exotic and savoury champagne style so appreciated today.
Magically, Cristal Rose is an even more incredible taste sensation than its sibling and really gives your palate food for thought. I think of this champagne as the knock out punch to seduce even the most challenging valentine!
Enticing pale ‘oeil de perdrix’ rose to behold, with scrumptious notes of caramel and licorice on the nose followed by lean mineral qualities on the palate. This what I call a 360′ champagne: Beautiful packaging, beautiful colour, beautiful nose and beautiful flavours in the mouth – such an elegant champagne is the ultimate weapon of seduction!!
BLEND: 60% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay
Find out more about Champagne Louis Roederer
When I was a teenager studying in France I remember seeing this mesmerisingly beautiful bottle of champagne on the top shelf in supermarkets. I didn’t get to taste this mystery wine until my late twenties – which is probably just as well because it stopped me in my tracks. The packaging of this champagne is so bold and out there (the original design was by famous belle epoque artist Emile Galle), yet by comparison, the champagne inside is so refined and so subtle. Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque is one of the ultimate exponents of the theory of blended champagne. I think of this champagne when its all about the romance and you want the perfect shy companion champagne that listens to how you feel rather demands your attention with overpowering flavours.
Bright gold with a velvet soft mousse this champagne sings of lemon tart and baked brioche. Harmoniously balanced and fresh this champagne is an absolute delight to share with someone very special or just enjoy by yourself!
BLEND: 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, 5% Pinot Meunier
Find out more about Champagne Perrier Jouet
Last but by no means least, this stunning saignee rose champagne is my (easy to find anywhere) ‘go to’ champagne for impromptu romantic moments. A classy package that looks and tastes beautiful, even though this champagne is reasonably priced and widely distributed around Valentine’s Day, its obviously not just an every day wine – Laurent Perrier is in fact the best selling rose champagne in the world!
Rich colour, lashings of summer fruits on the summer, redcurrant, raspberries and delcious citrus notes on the palate – one bottle is never enough!
Blend: 100% Pinot Noir (saignee method)
Find out more about Champagne Laurent Perrier
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