I can’t take credit for this champagne knowledge. But the Hill Team in total enjoy champagne. Jiles Halling has written books, and continual columns on this topic. This weeks newsletter is in time for the upcoming holidays or any time of year.
A very important question…
Here’s a simple but reliable tip that will work for any wines, including champagne:
1. Start with white and move to red
2. Start with dry and move to sweet
3. Start with young and move to old
To start the fun…
Blanc de Blancs champagne is made only with Chardonnay grapes, which means that it’s crisp,
dry and clean; fresh and citrussy, although a good one will still be smooth and soft in the mouth.
The secret is that a couple of glasses of Blanc de Blancs champagne will wake up your taste buds
ready for the food to follow, so it’s great at the start of the party and/or as an aperitif before
You’ll find the words “Blanc de Blancs” on the label by the way, so this type of champagne is
easy to find.
As the party progresses your palate will change too and a really dry wine or champagne can soon
start to seem a little harsh.
Now’s the time to serve a classic non-vintage champagne that contains both white grapes (Chardonnay) and black grapes (Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier).
The black grapes lend more fruitiness and fullness to the champagne, leaving a deliciously full and
satisfying flavour in your mouth.
If you’re hosting a dinner party, then this style of champagne will be great with the first course.
Most champagnes on the market fit into this category, and if you’re in doubt, just ask the wine
Towards the end of the evening when you’re feeling relaxed and mellow is the perfect moment for a richer, more full-flavoured champagne to match your mood.
At your dinner party, you’ll find that vintage champagne is ideal with main courses such as turkey, game and lots more besides – perfect for Christmas!
To Finish Off…
At the end of the evening, or to serve with a sweet dessert, there’s one more option to consider, and that’s Demi-Sec champagne.
If you’ve never tried demi-sec and think that it’s far too sweet for you, think again. With the sweetness of the dessert a demi-sec champagne is just perfect and doesn’t seem sweet at all.
Plus, if you’ve finished eating then you’ll find that demi-sec is far softer on your palate than brut
champagne if you want to go on partying into the wee small hours. Besides, it’s different and makes your party that extra bit special!
If you want to find out even more about how to throw stylish and elegant champagne parties, then check out the new paperback version of “The Insider’s Guide to Champagne” still available.
Go here if you live in the USA
Go here if you live in the UK/Europe
And email me privately at
if you’re anywhere else in the world and I’ll get your copy to you personally.
In the meantime, Stay Bubbly
I hope you enjoy Jiles’ tips as much as I do.