Birthday gift of champagne, need recommendations!
April 9, 2020 10:40 AM   Subscribe

My sibling was called back from their posting overseas given the Covid-19 concerns. They are now in a long term hotel for an indeterminate amount of time. Their birthday is coming up and they'd mentioned they'd love a bottle of champagne as a fun gift, and an easy way to celebrate given the circumstances. I'd love to nice recommendations as my champagne knowledge is limited.

My knowledge of champagne tends to end with "I like Veuve Clicquot" and that one time I had Dom it was good, so I could do something standard but would love to think a little bit outside the box for a nice surprise to help lift spirits.

Guidance I got was that the drier the better, but they also love quality rosés like the Salmon Billecart.

Right now I was looking at the total wine in her area of Virginia, but if there are other places that would deliver I'd be happy to use that instead.
posted by Carillon to Food & Drink (7 answers total)
What's your price point?
posted by slenderloris at 11:17 AM on April 9, 2020

Response by poster: up to 250 give or take.
posted by Carillon at 11:23 AM on April 9, 2020

Best answer: A few I like but that are less known than Veuve or Dom but not obscure and hopefully not too hard to find are Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Rare, Pol Roger Winston Churchill, and Taittinger Comtes de Champagne. I'm also personally partial to Krug, much more than Dom or Cristal, but it's pretty ubiqutous.
posted by primethyme at 11:27 AM on April 9, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well this is probably too cheap for you to consider, and it's not a great champagne but perfectly nice. What recommends it is: who would suspect a good champagne from New Mexico? It might be a total surprise. I'm referring to Gruet.
posted by tmdonahue at 12:29 PM on April 9, 2020

I guess that's another good clarification to ask for --- are you specifically wanting Champagne champagne? Or just a really great and unusual sparkling wine regardless of origin?
posted by slenderloris at 1:55 PM on April 9, 2020

Response by poster: Champagne champagne yes. My sibling will definitely appreciate it more if it's legit Champagne.
posted by Carillon at 1:57 PM on April 9, 2020

Best answer: Ok, perfect! I'll be honest, I'm not a Champagne connoisseur either, and I have in fact never purchased a bottle of wine of any type at that retail price :) But I have received a few as gifts, and also tasted many interesting Champagnes by the glass at our local haunt. Of the ones that are currently on their menu, I would suggest Larmandier-Bernier, either the Longitude or the rosé.

The Larmandiers are not as expensive as you said you were looking for, but they are delicious, in my opinion. Is your sibling in the hotel alone? One way to make a gift of Champagne feel even more festive is to give a larger-format bottle, but that might be too much to drink before it goes flat if they're by themselves, even if they have a stopper.

One other thing that can make it feel super fun and luxurious is a beautiful/unusual bottle. I've never tasted the Louis XV Cuvées, and their website strikes me as a little cheesy, but it's inarguably a striking presentation. Maybe someone else will come along that can speak to its suitability for this situation.

Sorry I didn't look into the delivery options for any of my suggestions. I know L-B can direct-ship from Europe, if your timeline is long enough.
posted by slenderloris at 3:10 PM on April 9, 2020

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