How to choose the perfect champagne this party season

Gentleman’s Journal turn to Louis Roederer, the ‘world’s most admired champagne brand’, to pick the perfect bottle for every style of celebration…

When it comes to throwing the perfect party, it’s all a matter of taste. Not in the broader sense, mind you (although a good guest list and some restrained, refined decorations will help you on your hosting way). Rather, the question of whether your gathering flourishes or fails turns on the sense of taste itself; and how well your food and drink choices manage to charm all and every attendee.

Admittedly, this is easier said than done. Thankfully, here at Gentleman’s Journal, we’re firm friends of Louis Roederer; the sophisticated Champagne house that has not only been elegantly, effortlessly entertaining guests since 1776 — but was also recently named the world’s most admired champagne brand for the third year in a row. So who better to turn to for graceful guidance?

We tasked the Grande Marque with finding the best fizz to pour for four distinct, diverse types of party. It may be a small soirée, or it could be a larger festive function, but Louis Roederer is here to help; heading into its storied cellars to pull out the perfect bottles — and sumptuous food pairings — to ensure every party this festive season is a sparkling success.

For longer guest lists, go for a refined multi-vintage

What’s the occasion? Think the biggest drinks party you’ve ever thrown — then think bigger. You’re playing super-host, with a guest list longer, more extensive and expansive than ever before. Gladly, that’ll mean good times. But it’s also trickier to cater for a crowd with a wide range of conflicting, temperamental tastes. 

Which Louis Roederer? To deal with the diversity of your guests, go for ‘Collection 243’. A firm favourite amongst sommeliers serving champagne at large parties, it’s a multi-vintage complex and refined enough to delight aficionados — but elegant enough to not to scare away any amateurs. Think delicate notes of plum, soft smoke and lemon pie.

What food pairing works? With its full and fresh nose, not to mention refreshing salinity, ‘Collection 243’ is the perfect canapé-complementing champagne. Louis Roederer suggests serving up ‘Smoked Haddock Croquettes’ with this fizz, or doubling down on the wine’s fragrant qualities with some ‘Spiced Lamb and Crispy Curry Leaves’.

How to choose the perfect champagne this party season

Louis Roederer Collection 243

£50.00

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For a smaller soirée, go for a pinker drink

What’s the occasion? It’s a decadent dinner party; a slap-up spread with a select roster of your closest gourmets and gastronomers. But that means that every inch of your meticulously-curated menu will be held up and scrutinised — like fine champagne against the light. Thankfully, we’ve got just the wine to dazzle even the most discerning diner.

Which Louis Roederer? Not the one they’ll be expecting. Instead, look for something your guests may not expect — and may never have experienced. The Louis Roederer Rose Vintage 2015, with its deceptively pale pink shade and juicy, ripe nose, has intense flavours of pink grapefruit, griddled peach and fresh ginger.

What food pairing works? Something aromatic. While champagne is usually assumed to be an aperitif, this rosé makes for a magnificent main course pairings. Louis Roederer recommends adding ‘Seared Duck Breast’ or even ‘Duck Sausage’ to your menu, and plating it up with rich, full-flavoured sides such as ‘Roasted Figs and Walnuts’. 

How to choose the perfect champagne this party season

Louis Roederer Rose Vintage 2015

£60.00

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For a romantic dinner, go for something special

What’s the occasion? Love is in the air — and on the menu. It’s an intimate night in; time taken between a couple to wind down, eat well and raise a glass of something special in a toast to the enduring excitement of their relationship. Often, such evenings can descend into cliché — so put away that pink fizz you uncorked for a dinner party, and opt once more for the unexpected.

Which Louis Roederer? The most delicious, amorous of them all: Cristal 2014. It’s a global icon — a wine so intense, versatile and complex that it pairs perfectly with both romance and every international cuisine you may pour its way. Expect gentle, rolling bubbles and elegant, textured notes of yellow fruits, citrus peel and finely toasted nuts. 

What food pairing works? Classic dishes do work well with Cristal, but you’ll truly wow your date by dishing up some fine Asian food. Louis Roederer suggests sampling Hakkasan’s award-winning, Michelin-starred menu; a dine-at-home celebration of Cantonese food that delivers plates from ‘Crispy Peking Duck’ to the restaurant’s renowned ‘Hakka Noodles with Shimeji Mushrooms’.

How to choose the perfect champagne this party season

Louis Roederer Cristal 2014

£280.00

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For a seasonal cheese tasting, go for an intense vintage

What’s the occasion? December 25th — or near enough. It’s that most relaxing time of the year, where meals merge into one, friends drop in unannounced and your larder’s packed more densely than the fruit in a Christmas pudding. On these lazy days, it always pays to keep a stock of fine champagne; bubbles primed to be popped when guests stop by.  

Which Louis Roederer? Without festive question, the Louis Roederer Brut Vintage 2014. This choice hinges on a particular food pairing, but first, a little about the wine itself. Full-bodied and even fuller-flavoured, the fairly subtle bouquet belies the great acidity, almond and citrus notes that fizz through the champagne. Pay particular attention to the seasonal notes of red fruits, baked biscuits and spiced pear.

What food pairing works? What else would it be — cheese. And, while the champagne house recognises the convention of blue cheese and red wine, the good people of Louis Roederer also recommend that you try something new. A nutty hard cheese, such as Comte or Wookey Hole cheddar, will stand up handsomely alongside this Brut’s bubbles. 

How to choose the perfect champagne this party season

Louis Roederer Brut Vintage 2014

£74.00

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Want more from the admired brand? Revisit an evening celebrating the Louis Roederer Photography Prize for Sustainability…

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