Even though we love all categories of wine here at VinePair, there’s no arguing that the undisputed champ of the holiday season is Champagne. There’s really no better way to spread the holiday spirit than with a bottle of bubbly, but making the perfect selection can be a daunting task. Do you spring for a vintage bottling? Should you opt for a blanc de blancs, or even a festive rosé? There’s a surprising variety from just one small appellation in France.
It’s also no secret that Champagne can be wildly expensive, so if you’re treating multiple people on your gift list, it can add up fast. Here, we’re sharing our top picks for every price point and palate preference to help you find the best bubbles this holiday season. Read on to discover seven selections that will have your loved ones popping bottles with glee.
The 7 Best Champagnes to Gift in 2023:
Best Budget Champagne: Champagne Chavost Assemblage NV
Best Splurge Champagne: Krug Rosé 27th Edition
Best Champagne For Beginners: Champagne Billecart-Salmon Brut Réserve NV
Best Champagne for Geeks: Champagne Henriot L’Inattendue 2016
Best Champagne for Dinner Pairings: Champagne Delamotte Brut NV
Best Champagne to Impress: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame Brut 2015
Best Bang For Your Buck Champagne: Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2015
Best Budget Champagne
Finding an organically grown, thoughtfully made wine can be difficult at any price point. That’s why it’s so impressive that this beautifully designed bottle from Chavost comes in at around $60 — a relative bargain in Champagne. This wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, resulting in an expressive flavor profile with notes of green apples and minerals. For your friend who’s been popping the same bottle of bubbly year after year, switch it up with this fun find.
Average price: $60
Best Splurge Champagne
There are many philosophical disputes over how much is too much to spend on a single bottle, but Krug makes a pretty convincing argument for a major splurge. The Champagne house builds each edition with intention, and the thoughtful winemaking is apparent in this rosé’s complexities: There are aromas of tart berries sprinkled with sea salt on the nose, and a rich palate with concentrated fruit and hints of fresh brioche. If you’re looking to go big on a bottle, this is the one.
Average price: $399
Best Champagne for Beginners
While it’s easy to get lost in the sea of vintages, prestige cuvées, and rare bottlings in Champagne, it’s best to stick to the basics when introducing a friend to the category — and this non-vintage wine from the renowned Billecart-Salmon exemplifies the platonic ideal of Champagne. It’s crisp and mineral-driven, with well-balanced acidity and delicate perlage. The palate is creamy yet austere, allowing it to please many palates regardless of preference. This is a surefire gifting win.
Average price: $70
Best Champagne for Geeks
This one’s for the wine geek who’s also a history buff. Like many of the region’s top houses, Champagne Henriot has a rich history going back centuries, and it actually remains one of the only continuously family-run estates. Made with Chardonnay grapes sourced entirely from the grand cru of Avize in the Côte des Blancs, this is the first bottling in the estate’s history to feature a singular terroir. It’s delectably rich with fresh brioche and pastry dough aromas. There’s also impressive depth to the palate, with notes of lemon curd and fresh citrus zest.
Average price: $155
Best Champagne for Dinner Pairings
Champagne is the perfect match for just about any dish featured on the holiday table, from your cheese and charcuterie spread straight through to dessert. This harmonious blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier provides the ideal level of balance and character, and has delicate aromas of artisanal cheese, pears, and flaky pastry dough. The palate is also bright with refreshing acidity and a steady stream of bubbles, and will help counteract even the heftiest holiday meal.
Average price: $71
Best Champagne to Impress
There’s no more recognizable brand in Champagne than the iconic Veuve Clicquot. While everyone adores this winery’s beloved entry-level bottling, if you’re really looking to impress someone special this holiday season, spring for this prestige cuvée. This wine is named for the grande dame, Madame Clicquot herself, who was a true pioneer in the region. It’s also made with 90 percent Pinot Noir as an homage to Madame Clicquot’s appreciation for the grape. The 2015 bottling offers great character with intense notes of candied apples and freshly baked croissants, and the bracing acidity and assertive bubbles help lift up the concentrated fruit notes. This wine has some serious aging potential, but can also liven up this year’s festivities alongside some oysters or caviar.
Average price: $211
Best Bang-for-Your-Buck Champagne
Champagne producers typically blend wines from the current vintage as well as reserve vintages to make a well-balanced wine. But in the best years, the region can declare a vintage, and only then are the houses permitted to make a wine showcasing that singular, outstanding year, and put that distinction on the label. Since these wines are relatively rare, they often come with a lofty price tag, but this Grand Vintage from Moët & Chandon delivers the vintage prestige at a more approachable price. The 2015 expression offers a bright nose of apples and lemon zest with a mineral tinge, and the palate is tart and fresh with smooth bubbles and well-balanced acidity.
Average price: $110