If you ask anyone how to celebrate anything, we guarantee popping open a bottle of bubbly is near the top of their list. And now that this hellish year is finally drawing to a close, we’re happy to say it’s time to make that thang go pop with the best champagne to celebrate the beginning of 2021.
Champagne has become synonymous with good times. Whether you’re saying cheers to a marriage, saluting a promotion or simply celebrating any number of other important events, hearing the cork pop is ultra-satisfying.
Champagne is a protected name and therefore every bottle labeled as “champagne” adheres to a series of rules, including the fact that it’s produced in the Champagne region of France. In this way, you know what you’re getting when you buy a bottle of champagne, but the protected nature of this type of bubbly also means it can be quite expensive.
Whether you like brut, rose or blanc de blancs, we’ve put together 14 bottles to pop open as we celebrate the end of 2020.
1. Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne
With its combination of flavor and budget-friendly price, it’s little wonder that the Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut Champagne is the most popular option on our list. It’s ideal for all occasions, from weddings to birthdays or even just a particularly exciting Friday night. With that being said, it’s a hell of a bottle to pop open this New Year’s Eve as the ball drops.
You’re sure to love the combination of lemon and lime flavors which come via an ever-present smoothness. You’ll also find notes of honey and apple in addition to a clean aftertaste which is sure to keep you coming back for more. So, we suggest you get yourself a few bottles just in case.
2. Louis Perdrier Brut
BEST FOR TOASTING
If you’re looking to spend as little money as possible but still want to celebrate with a genuine bottle of bubbly, look no further than this delicious Louis Perdrier Brut. It’s great for pairing with everything from veal and pork to fish and poultry. In addition, it boasts a range of fresh flavors, including green apple and mango, as well as aromatic floral elements. Pop this bad boy the second the clock his midnight this year and kiss 2020 a big, fat goodbye.
3. Cook’s California Champagne Brut
BEST BUDGET OPTION
Contrary to popular belief and the perception of champagne as a luxurious beverage, you actually don’t have to hand over an arm and a leg to enjoy a bottle. This champagne is produced at the Mission Bell in Madera, California. This was the first American champagne brand that’s been around creating high-quality, affordable champagne since 1859. This is a Prosecco-style champagne with tons of fruit and sweetness on the head, with flavors of apple and pear with floral notes mixed in. It’s a great brand for any occasion and especially good if you need many bottles at once, as it’s quite an affordable option.
4. Charles De Fère Blanc de Blancs
BEST MEDIUM-BODIED PICK
Inside this Charles De Fère Blanc de Blancs Réserve Brut, you’ll find a mix of Chardonnay, Ugni Blanc and Chenin Blanc grapes. The fresh, crisp flavor delivers a refreshing burst ideal for use as an apéritif or for pairing with lightly fried appetizers, popcorn and other dry snacks — so we totally suggest you pop this one at the beginning of the night and leave something else for the ball-drop. In the drink, you’ll notice apricot, green apple and biscuit flavors, while the light-medium body is sure to please.
5. Gruet Brut Rose
Not all champagne is golden. This Gruet Brut Rose is pink in color, adding a dimension of enjoyment for your eyes as well as your tastebuds. Plus, it boasts hints of berry in a crisp, dry flavor, which is kind of a surprising alternative to the overwhelming sweetness most rose champagnes have to offer. Do note that only 5,000 cases of this champagne are produced each year, so it’s best to order yours ASAP.
6. Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne
BEST FROM BACK IN THE DAY
Founded in 1772, Veuve Clicquot is repping quite the history when it comes to the champagne game. Although some of you may have never heard of it, this stuff has that deliciously bubbly taste and consistency you crave in your NYE champagne flute. It has a dominant pinot noir taste which gives a boisterous amount of strength and volume you won’t be able to stop sipping. Don’t believe us? Give it a try for yourself.
7. Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut
Of course you aren’t going to be drinking champagne every day of the week. But, if you were going to choose one from the list to fit that bill, the Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne Brut would work nicely. Gold in color and filled with an abundance of bubbles, this popular Brut offers a range of aromas made of floral and fruity flavors. Whether it’s apple, pear, almond or hazelnut, this well-balanced champagne is sure to make you happy any day of the week.
8. G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne
With its classy appearance, the G.H. Mumm Grand Cordon Champagne is a great choice if you’re giving a bottle as a gift. The bottle features a laser-cut sash. The drink itself delivers a mix of citrus flavors in a crisp and tart liquid which pairs well with salads, greens, fruits and other fresh foods. It was also created in collaboration with Ross Lovegrove and includes a long slender neck to further develop this champagne’s appealing aromas. We love this bottle for mimosas in the morning.
9. Drappier Brut
MOST COMPLEX FLAVOR
The Drappier Brut offers a complex taste which will keep you coming back for more. The drink features a flavor heavy on aromatic richness including those brought by stoned fruits like white vineyard peach. You’ll also find hints of spiciness accompanied by a quince jelly flavor to ensure your taste buds enjoy an experience you’ll want more of.
10. Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne
BEST FRUITY PICK
If you love a hint of fruit in your champagne, the Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne fits the bill. In a glass of this bubbly, you’ll enjoy pear, grapefruit and citrus flavors, each beautifully balanced to give an experience you’ll want again and again. This is a great choice for anyone sitting down to shellfish, salads or greens, and it includes more than 100 crus from around the Champagne region.
11. Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne
MOST BUBBLY EXPERIENCE
For those searching for a bubble-filled champagne experience, try a bottle of this Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut Champagne. The fresh and lively taste includes hints of both floral and fruity flavors, giving the champagne a wide reach and an appeal for all tastes. It’s also great for pairing with a range of foods, including shellfish, cheese, fish and pork and comes in a bottle finished with golden labels to give it a classy appearance.
12. Taittinger Brut La Francaise
Because of its delicious taste, you really don’t need an excuse to enjoy a bottle of this Taittinger Brut La Francaise. But, if you do happen to have one, you’re going to enjoy a beautiful blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier wines from over 35 different vineyards, which is quite a unique mixture among champagne choices. This is a great way to celebrate important occasions as this bottle offers a comprehensive range of aromatic flavors for both your nose and taste buds to enjoy. Hints of peach, vanilla and brioche can be found on this lively palate while the golden yellow, bubble-infused appearance can’t help but please.
13. Avaline Sparkling
Okay, okay, it isn’t technically champagne since it wasn’t grown in the correct area, but it is one of the most delicious bottles of bubbly 2020 has come up with, so we couldn’t leave it out of here. This celebrity-made bubbly bottle given the brand name “Avaline” is by none other than Cameron Diaz. Each bottle is made vegan with organic grapes and leaves out both added concentrates as well as added colors. It’s made with lots of love, so if you’re cool with something that isn’t champagne, you better give this a shot.
14. Korbel Brut California Champagne
BEST NON-FRENCH BOTTLE
Okay okay we know what we said in the intro about all champagne needing to be from France but this label is solid and produced locally on the Northern coast of California. Sonoma Valley, a wine country in very close proximity to the Napa Valley makes this fantastic brew that’s perfect for toasting, sipping and celebrating with. It has a refined palate with a medium-bold body and dry finish that’ll leave you refreshed but not in a sugar haze. It leads with cinnamon and citrus flavors followed by lime, orange, vanilla and just a bit of strawberry at the end. Sounds delicious, huh?