You and I don’t need any excuse to indulge in champagne but apparently, a lot of people reserve champagne for special or romantic occasions. Like St Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year… after you take out the commercialisation, sense of obligation, and sheer dread most men feel about forgetting or getting it wrong. #imnotcynical.
And while I have been writing Bubble & Flute for five years now – that’s five St V’s days – I still haven’t been able to bring myself to write a predictable list of romantic rosé champagne recommendations to sweep your loved one off their feet (insert vomit face emoji).
A few years ago I penned my own unique ode to St Valentine’s Day and my top 5 hot (fantasy) dates for Valentine’s Day and the champagne I would serve them… but I was single then.
Now that I am loved up, I have re-worked my St Valentine’s Day post into a personality-paired champagne guide to help you choose a bottle to share with your lover.
And if you’re single, use Feb 14 to remind yourself you don’t need a partner or an excuse to show yourself some love – buy yourself a bottle because you deserve it!
Whether you’re loved up or single, I hope you have a happy Valentine’s Day 💘 🌹.
Enjoy My Top 5 Champagne Pairings for Valentine’s Day with Your Love.
1. Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve
#IRL Match – if your lover is the hunky, sexy, suave, cheeky, cool type, ice a bottle of Charles Heidsieck to enjoy with him on St V’s Day.
If you’ve been around with me for a while, this won’t come as a shock to you. Charles Heidsieck and Idris Elba are a champagne perfect match.
A few years ago, I served Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve in a blind tasting with six other NV champagnes to a group of champagne lovers who were all also my girlfriends, not fancy-pants wine experts.
Because I love a champagne reference that everyone can relate to and most of the other champagnes in that tasting had a reference (Pol Roger & Audrey Hepburn, Bollinger & Adele, Taittinger & Jack Johnson, Brimoncourt & The Hill Top Hoods), after the tasting we debated (at length) how to describe Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve in non-champagne terms.
That’s when I matched Charles Heidsieck Champagne and Idris Elba for the first time. Idris Elba is sauve, stylish, smooth but a little bit cheeky – a lot like the founder of Charles Heidsieck, Champagne Charlie (who you can read about here). What’s more, Charles Heidsieck is my fave champagne, and at the time I first wrote about Charles Heidsieck, Irdis Elba was* my favourite man. Idris has that velvety smooth voice that sounds like the champagne tastes, and both the champagne and Idris have a distinctly masculine vibe. (*Author’s note, Idris, I apologise for the past tense and saying you were my favourite man. I have a partner now and you have been knocked off your perch!)
One friend (and her husband who joined the debate when he came to pick her up) fought hard for a George Clooney reference… but I am standing by Idris. But if George works for you, don’t let me stand in the way of true champagne love.
This is a sensation champagne – arguably the best NV champagne on the market. This champagne manages to be complex with all the hallmarks of an aged champagne – honey, brioche, and velvety ripe fruit laced with vanilla – at the same time as being remarkably fresh. If I had to pick one champagne to drink every day for the rest of my life, this is it. Or if I could take just one champagne to a deserted island, this is it.
The Technical Details
40% Pinot Noir
Blended from 60 crus (including grand crus, premier crus, and crus)
Dosage – 11 g/l
Aged – 3-4 years on lees
Reserve wines – 40% reserve wines, the average ten years but as old as 20 years.
Fermentation – stainless steel tanks, cru by cru, variety by variety, full malolactic
Total annual production – 1 million bottles
Bubble & Flute Champagne Style* – Rich & Robust AND Bold & Adventurous
Read the full review of the Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve here.
2. Bollinger Special Cuvée
#IRL Match – If your love is more interested in how they shake and stirs you than their, they deserves an exceptional champagne
This is an easy match with Bollinger as the official champagne of James Bond, I just can’t imagine drinking anything else with Daniel Craig.
Daniel Craig pops a bottle of 1990 La Grande Annee with Vesper in my fave Bond film, Casino Royale, but I’d go with a classic bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvée.
Rich, robust and full-bodied, the Bollinger Special Cuvée is one of the champagnes I recommend for men who say they don’t like champagne or think champagne is bland bubbly. I’ve converted countless men to champagne after they try the Bollinger Special Cuvée. But be warned, that means you may have to share!
The Technical Details
60% Pinot Noir
Blended from 300 crus (including 85% grand crus and premier crus)
Dosage – 7-8 g/l
Aged – for 3 – 4 years on lees
Reserve wines – a majority of reserve wines, part of which have been aged in magnums for 5 – 15 years.
Fermentation – fermented in oak barrels
Total annual production – 2.5 million bottles
Bubble & Flute Champagne Style*– Rich & Robust
Read my full review on the Bollinger Special Cuvée here.
3. The Abyss from Leclerc Briant
#IRL Match – Break out the Leclerc Briant if your lover is an intense all-or-nothing type. Or a believer that there are forces greater than us in the world.
Tom Hardy is one intense guy! He puts it all on the line and gets completely immersed in his craft.
And so does Hervé Jestin, the chief wine maker for Leclerc Briant.
Hervé was a pioneer in biodynamic wines and has the most unique winemaking philosophy that I have ever seen. He believes wine is a living, breathing thing and looks at the interaction between the wine and humans and the environment around them. I could try to explain it but it’s just so next level, almost spiritual. He talks about energy and the natural intelligence and consciousness of wine. You can roll your eyes and call it a load of wine-wanker bullshit or you can try the wines and decide for yourself.
The Abyss cuvée from Leclerc Briant experiments with the interaction between the wine and humans and the environment around them in a unique way… because it’s aged on the bottom of the ocean. I enjoyed it four times when I was last in France. (And thinking back on it now, it was the only wine I tried that many times during my trip). The wine is actually sold with the marks of the ocean still on the bottle and it can’t be imported into Australia because of our customs and disease preventative regulations. But you can get most of this epic range of Leclerc Briant wines from French Vine.
I would put the Abyss on your list of champagnes to try before you die.
The Technical Details
34% Pinot Noir
Dosage – zero
Bubble & Flute Champagne Style* – Bold & Adventurous
4. Laherte Freres Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature
#IRL Match – If your love is as focused as f%&@, high-performing, insanely talented athlete but as down to earth as they come, break open a bottle of this champagne on the beach with fish chips on Feb 14.
Being an Aussie, my list has a down-under bias and I have a little Mick Fanning crush.
Now I might be an Aussie and I live on the Gold Coast, but I have never surfed in my life. But Mick Fanning fascinates me. My fascination started at a breakfast I went to once where one of his coaches was giving a presentation about dealing with stress I think, and he told a few stories about Mick Fanning’s focus techniques to deal with pressure. I’d actually never really thought about the aspect of elite sports coaching before and I guess his ability to focus under pressure came in handy a few years later when he famously beat off a shark during a surfing comp.
Enough about the man, let’s talk about the champagne…. Laherte Freres Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature.
A blanc de blancs (100% chardonnay) and Brut Nature (no sugar added), it’s dry, fresh, salty and chalky, a surfie champagne for sure.
The Technical Details
The blend – 100% chardonnay
Reserve wines – 50%
Terroir – Chavot & Epernay soft clay and chalk
Dosage – 0 g/l
Aged – 2 years on lees
Fermentation – 100% wild fermented in barrique, foudre and truncated cone vat; hand disgorged; 60% malolactic fermentation.
Total annual production – 120,000 bottles in total from the producer across all 12 cuvées
Bubble & Flute Champagne Style* – Fresh & Crisp
Read my full review on the Laherte Freres Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature here.
5. Anything in a magnum
#IRL Match – Big bottles for their big heart and your BIG love 💘
Like my love 💞.
My man doesn’t actually drink alcohol (who’d have thought?) but I do and we both have big hearts and our love is most definitely BIG and so this one is for us.
This works just as well if you want to celebrate Galentine’s Day and your love for your BFFs, a magnum will go further and taste better.
If you are sharing and pairing champagne on Valentine’s Day, make sure you post a pic and tag @bubbleandflute #bubbleandflute #happychampers #champagnesthatpairwithHOT
*Bubble & Flute Champagne Style Guide
After more than a decade of champagne tastings with everyone from beginners to fully-fledged champs-snobs, I have developed a theory that everyone has a basic, favourite style of champagne they’ll always choose over everything else.
I have developed my Bubble & Flute Champagne Style to reveal your champagne style and suggest more champagnes to try, based on your style, that I think you are totally going to love!
Once you know your champagne style you will visit wine shops or shop online feeling more confident and comfortable selecting new champagnes because you know and understand what style of champagnes you like most.
Bubble & Flute promotes the responsible consumption of alcohol for individuals of legal drinking age in their country. Prices correct at time of publication but may change.