Celebration dinners, toasts and special occasions call for champagnes that are fresh and pure with some real presence.
At the lower end of the scale, tipplers can’t go wrong with the award-winning Morrisons Best Champagne Brut NV, France (£14.99 from £22.99, until January 6, Morrisons), which has won a Which? Best Buy award for two years running.
Two-thirds pinot noir for strength and body with one-third chardonnay for finesse, the first nose is rich and complex with hints of baked brioche, followed by subtle mineral notes on the palate and a lingering finish.
With a trend in champagne circles for zero-dosage (sugar-free) bubbles, small-grower champagne houses, such as Andre Clouet, have found a growing market for this bone-dry style of champagne. Exceptionally fresh, try Andre Clouet Silver Brut Nature, grand cru a Bouzy, France (£25.40, www.tanners-wines.co.uk).
Fairly priced for the quality, Franck Bonville Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs, France (£39, Marks & Spencer) is decadent and rich
with a voluptuous palate and lovely long length.