by | Sep 25, 2020 | Leisure, Food/Dining, Wine

It’s time for some boutique champagne! Don’t you agree? Be it whatever reasons you see fit: like finally celebrating birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries again. Don’t forget the “we survived the-summer-of-covid” socially-distanced-impromptu gatherings with the neighbours.

Related: Buy local: Re-stock your wine cellar with these 5 premium cool climate chardonnays

And perhaps with, or without, your partner, for some alone time on the deck? Who needs a reason to drink champagne anyway? The real question is – will you drink just any champagne in 2020?

Why waste your money or time on mass-produced, mediocre plonks? Don’t waste your time with the loudly colour-branded “Coca-colas” of the champagne world. Consider stocking up with these smaller-house producers of champagne houses that rarely, or never, see the LCBO shelves. And that’s a good thing. Just like the best gold moissanite engagement ring, these boutique options really know how to impress.

Boutique Champagnes

Buyers tip

What happens when you buy mass-produced, over-marketed champagnes? Well, you’re paying for their advertising costs. You are not necessarily paying for the quality of the bubbles. Smaller, boutique champagne houses reinvest every penny in their product. It’s all about maintaining the integrity of the juice, as well as the land, with its often deep-rooted history.

By supporting the boutique producers, you’re literally buying into their dream. And hopefully that dream tastes like heaven on earth when you pop the cork to lift spirits high!

Boutique Champagnes 3

Bruno Paillard might just be one of the most elegant, boutique champagne producers out there. And you should have at least one of the following labels in your cellar to pop on special occasions. Or have it there just because it’s one of your most favourite things to indulge in.

Bruno Paillard Grand Cru “Blanc de Blancs” NV Brut

Fresh squeezed lemons, white grapefruit, zingy, crisp, elegant. Enjoy subtle white flowers on the nose. Or, more citrus punch with fine luxuriously moussey-bubbles on the palate.

Bone-dry, with an exuberant, long lasting finish. Serve with oysters, poached fresh white fish in lemony sauces, and summery salads with fennel and citrus. Anything with tangy, soft, creamy chèvre as an appy will marry beautifully.

Order your cases here.

  • Agency: Lifford Fine Spirits and Wine
  • Grape: 100% Chardonnay
  • Region: Reims, A.O.P (Appellation D’Origine Protegée), Champagne, France
  • Vintage: Non-Vintage (N/V)

Bruno Paillard “Première Cuvée” Rosé NV Brut

The colour alone will suggest beautiful notes of delicate strawberry. Add some violet, rose petals, and earthy, fragrant, deep cherry undertones to that mix. Before you know it you’re in champagne heaven!

The weight of the Pinot Noir carries through to the long finish. There is sufficient doughy notes that would work beautifully with a croquet-monsieur. Or even better, try it with an open-faced, melty ham sandwich in a fresh French bakery buttery-croissant. Perfect with smoked salmon appies, too. Ot what about solo, on your deck, overlooking the quiet lakes and rivers you escape to? After all, real luxury is time well spent.

  • Agency: Lifford Fine Spirits and Wine
  • Grapes: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay – a blend that remains a “secret recipe”, heavy on the Pinot!
  • Region: Reims, Champagne, A.O.P (Appellation D’Origine Protegée), France
  • Vintage: Non-Vintage (N/V)

Order it here.

Bruno Paillard “Premiére Cuvée” NV Brut

Every-day drinking champagne. So long as your budget allows, this one is excellent value and delivers far more than the bigger brand names for less the price. Expect tiny, persistent bubbles with some heavier weight from the Pinots. Plump, juicy red raspberries, and fleshy orchard fruits with earthy, mushroomy undertones. Rising dough notes from yeast.

If you decide “Truffle-Buttered Popcorn” is dinner, this will surprisingly do! But don’t stop at course one. Try fried shrimp, scallops, calamari and other butter-drenched rich seafoods with lemon zest. Go with dishes that need a little weight and acidity to rebalance your palate in between bites.

  • Agency: Lifford Fine Spirits and Wine
  • Grape: 45% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 22% Pinot Meunier
  • Region: Reims, Champagne, A.O.P, France
  • Vintage: Non-Vintage (N/V)

Order it here.

Champagnes from COLLET Aÿ, A. O. P, CHAMPAGNE, FRANCE

Champagne Collet is one of champagne’s oldest cooperative, boutique winery producing top quality bubbles. It’s located in the Grand Cru village of Äy. This charming sub-region bares a rich history in the revolution against fraudulently produced champagne. That ultimately led to the establishment of champagne’s prestigious appellation, of which it remains today.

Collet focuses on artisanal winemaking via smaller production. It consistently maintains its regionally distinctive terroir in its’ effervescent wines. It has two beautifully expressive, sophisticated bubbles that are available exclusively in consignment. These should absolutely be a part of your cellar collection. Contact The Vine Agency direct through email for boutique champagne. Or place a phone call to place your orders.

Champagne COLLET “Art Deco” N/V Brut

Just as colourful and creative as its “Art Deco” label reference, dating back to the post world war artistic movement/era. Lemon peel, mixed with lime zest, and fresh cut white flowers on the nose. Juicy pineapple, apple jelly, orange zest, the ripest Anjou pears you’ve ever had. It’s mixed with honey, lavender, anise and a touch of smoke and no shortage of minerals. Creamy bubbles, complex, dry – and up for a meatier challenge then most of its calibre. Think veal dishes in need of some uplifting acidity.

  • Agency: The Vine Agency
  • Grape: 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 20% Pinot Meunier
  • Region: Aÿ, A.O.P, Champagne, France
  • Vintage: Non-Vintage (N/V)

Champagne COLLET Brut Rosé N /V

Strawberries and champagne, anyone? Throw in some fresh lobster, or blue crab to kick things up a notch! Or triple-cream brie with peach compote will do just fine. The flavours of this sparkling rosé are ripe with juicy red berries, peach, black currant, mandarin orange. That’s all despite its bone dry finish.

Subtle cocoa notes, silky smooth texture and fine creamy bubbles will carry you through the day, or night. The grapes are sourced from Grand and Premier Cru vineyards. It’s like opera music for the senses!

  • Agency: The Vine Agency
  • Grape: 50% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Meunier
  • Region: Aÿ & Malle, A.O.P, Champagne, France
  • Vintage: Non-Vintage (N/V)

Get in touch with the agency here.

Champagnes by G. Tribaut

A family affair, from generations past, this boutique champagne house is based in the Premier Cru village of Hautsviller – the home of Dom Perignon. Keep the “Cuvée de Réserve” N/V Bruts, The Premier Crus and Rosé Brut on your radar. That’s because all are arriving ASAP into the province with a fresh shipment. They’ll soon be available for ordering.

The champagnes are largely chardonnay-based, producing an impressive lineup of diverse styles. It allows for a range of food pairings. So choose your own adventure!

  • Agency: Compass Beverages
  • Regions: Premier Cru Vineyards in the Marne Valley, A.O.P, Champagne, France
  • Vintage: Non-Vintage (N/V)

Also, maybe you have a champagne emergency, and need a luxurious gift in a pinch? (Translation: you’ve already drank your liquid inventory before the new shipment has been placed, or arrived.) Consider supporting one of your local wine bars. Call them up and ask, “What’s not on the list?” You’ll be surprised what they might find for that special occasion.

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Le Saint-Sulpice Hôtel Montréal

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