As holiday season sets in, so too does the moment for bubbles. Whether it’s an office party or New Year’s Eve bash, France’s most beloved, festive wine is in especially high demand. Beyond its elegant aesthetic served in coups or flutes, Champagne likewise plays well with others, making it a fine friend to bring to seasonal soirées, ready to accentuate everything from turkey and truffles to caviar and cake. So, in the name of gifting (and guzzling), we’ve rounded up the most beautiful (and delicious!) Champagnes currently on the market, from limited edition sapphire-studded bottles to perennial show-stoppers.
1. Champagne Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Limited Edition Tiger Cage, NV ($110) While Laurent-Perrier first released its Cuvée Rosé (100% Pinot Noir) in 1968, this past fall the lauded maison re-released the Champagne dressed in a limited edition rose gold tiger print-inspired metal cloak. The encasement’s soft pink hue mimics the rosé Champagne within, meanwhile the brand’s stocky bottle shape is an ode to the shape of Champagne bottles from centuries past.
Tasting Notes: cherry, brioche, orange peel
2. Pommery, Cuvée Louise Brut Nature, 2004 ($139) To create a bottle honoring Louise Pommery—daughter to maison founders Alexandre-Louis Pommery and Jeanne Alexandrine Louise Pommery—Pommery partnered with digital illustrator Pascale Montenay for the 2004 vintage release of the cuvée (60% Chardonnay, 40% Pinot Noir). Paying tribute to Madame Pommery and her love of flowers, especially roses, Montenay designed a Champagne box decorated with crawling grape vines and blooming roses to house the special cuvée within.
Tasting Notes: almond, brioche, lime
3. Krug, Grande Cuvée, 167th Edition ($219) One of the most iconic and eye-catching Champagnes on the market, Krug’s entry-level Grande Cuvée is technically non-vintage. However, the Champagne is made from a blend of wines (47% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 17% Meunier) that date as far back as 1995. And it’s this lengthy aging that accounts for the wine’s depth and complexity. While Krug’s current narrow-neck bottle shape was designed by the Krug family during the early 1970s, sixth generation house director Olivier Krug decided to update the bottle with a “Krug iD”—a numerical code that, when entered into the Krug app, enables the imbiber to unlock the given bottle’s history.
Tasting Notes: apricot, brioche, walnut
4. Lenny Kravitz x Dom Pérignon Brut, 2008 ($199)
This month, rocker Lenny Kravitz and his creative firm Kravitz Design, have teamed up with legendary Champagne house Dom Perignon to bling out the brand’s signature shield-shaped logo. Kravitz’s limited edition bottles, created for Dom’s 2008 Brut vintage (50% Pinot Noir, 50% Chardonnay) and the 2006 rosé, are made from hammered metal that takes on a natural patina. And as part of a set, Kravitz also designed a candelabra box ($3,650) and low-slung Champagne table (price upon request) for the brand.
Tasting Notes: grapefruit, yeast, candied ginger
5. Bollinger 007 Limited Edition, 2011 ($230) For Bollinger’s 2011 vintage release (100% Pinot Noir), the Champagne house joined forces with famed man of mystery James Bond to commemorate the fictional film character, his love for bubbles, and the series’ 25th movie, No Time to Die, which hits theaters next spring. Bollinger’s 007 special release blanc de noir Champagne comes housed in a bottle decorated with the names of all previous Bond films, while a scene from Goldeneye inspired the box that protects the wine. And when you press a button, the box’s glass door slides open, just like when former Bond actor Pierce Brosnan pushed a button in his car and a bottle of Bollinger appeared. (Fun fact: Bollinger has appeared in 14 Bond movies, beginning with 1973’s Live and Let Die.)
Tasting Notes: honey, hazelnut, citrus
6. La Grande Dame Rosé, 2008 ($360) When iconic Champagne house Veuve Clicquot first released its ultra-premium La Grande Dame series of vintage Champagnes (these wines are produced from Grand Cru plots and aged for a minimum of eight years) in 1972, the brand chose to contain its prestigious juice in a bottle that differed from its more accessible Champagnes. Paying tribute to its namesake matriarch the widow Clicquot (veuve translates to widow in French), La Grande Dame bottles feature feminine curves and a wider neck; such is the case with brand’s most recent 2008 rosé (92% Pinot Noir, 8% Chardonnay) release. Also note the anchor pressed into the glass bottle that represents hope, part of the house’s early branding from 1798.
Tasting Notes: strawberry, baking spice, brioche
7. Champagne Palmer & Co Grands Terroirs, 2003 ($369; magnum) Sometimes less is more. As is the case with Champagne Palmer & Co’s Grands Terroirs gold foil-capped wine (54% Pinot Noir, 46% Chardonnay), and its minimalist elegance. For the 2003 vintage, which was released this past fall, the house only produced 1,703 magnums, and this extremely limited production represents the brand’s dedication to quality.
Tasting Notes: apricot, brioche, citrus
8. Armand de Brignac Rosé, NV ($450) What most stands out about rapper Jay Z’s Armand de Brignac line of showy Champagnes is that each looks as though it was fashioned from metal. The bottles are, indeed, metal-coated, and decorated with a pewter ace of spades logo (hence the brand’s nickname). In the case of the brand’s non-vintage rosé (50% Pinot Noir, 40% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay), a pink luster casts a feminine touch. And it’s worth noting that while this wine does not carry a vintage, the juice within is a blend of decently aged wine from 2009, 2010, and 2012.
Tasting Notes: strawberry, brioche, almond
9. Ruinart, Blanc de Blancs, NV ($89) As the world’s very first Champagne house, founded in 1729, Ruinart conveys more history than most. Embracing a distinctive squat Champagne bottle shape that was de rigueur during the 18th century, the brand has continued to use this historic design to contain its plethora of cuvées. And Ruinart’s entry-level, non-vintage Blanc de Blancs sparkler (100% Chardonnay) looks especially sleek, housed in a clear iteration of this bottle with a touch of gold.
Tasting Notes: apple, lemon, apricot
Originally Appeared on Vogue