Saturday, December 24, 2022


America's Test Kitchen

My beverage of choice would without question be Champagne. And with the holidays here and New Year's Eve around the corner, what better time to enjoy a lovely bottle? In this post, I will share some of my favorite Champagne tips.

First, opening a bottle of Champagne can be challenging - after removing the wire cage, you need to twist, turn, wiggle, and cajole the cork out without blinding yourself. I use a Champagne opener - this is my favorite.

Le Creuset Champagne Star Opener

I love classic French Brut Champagnes. My favorite Champagne is Taittinger Brut, but I also love Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label and Moet Chandon Brut. All are classics and none of these will break the bank - around $50.

Taittinger Brut

Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label

Moet Chandon Brut Imperial

For a great Champagne around $20 that I use for Champagne cocktails and such, I love Mumm Napa.

Mumm Napa

Speaking of which, I absolutely adore a Champagne cocktail - an easy and truly great cocktail that dates back to the 1850s. Soak a sugar cube with 3 to 5 dashes of Angostura Bitters and drop into the bottom of a Champagne flute. Fill the glass with Champagne and garnish with a lemon twist. The sugar makes the Champagne bubbles go on and on - keep them going by topping off with more Champagne as you drink.

Do you remember when there was a world wide shortage of Angostura Bitters back in 2009 when the sole manufacturer in Trinidad shutdown? I am a Manhattan drinker and remember it well.

Angostura Aromatic Bitters

If you are in the market for new Champagne glasses, I really like these Schott Zwiesel Crystal Flutes - they are elegant, durable, well-priced, and dishwasher safe. They are very resistant to chipping and breaking.

Set of 4 Schott Zwiesel Crystal Flutes

And here are some great options in Champagne chillers - and they are Chinoiserie Chic.

Bamboo Enamel Ice Bucket

Gold Bamboo Ice Bucket

Silver and Wicker Ice Bucket

I have this one and love it!

Canton Collection Wine Bucket

One of my errands at UTC mall on Wednesday was to pick up half a dozen of these gorgeous coral ornaments - late additions to my tree!



  1. Sante, Beth! I am a champagne freak, and for the longest time my go-to champagne was Veuve Clicquot brut yellow label, the one you've shown in your post, but then it got to be around $70.00. Then the sommelier at my local gourmet grocery store told me about Coutier champagne. I loved it and have been buying it ever since. I haven't had a champagne cocktail in ages so I'll have to treat myself. Love the silver and wicker ice bucket.

    1. My Total Wine sells the Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label for under $48.00. You should check there - they have lots of stores in the Bay Area.

    2. Thanks so much! I will definitely check them out.