It's a good year for champagne. If you're looking to stray from the Moet and Mumm you usually break out at this time of year, may we present three new tipples worth sipping: Boizel, 1998 House of Arras 20th Anniversary Late Disgorged and Veuve Clicquot Rich.
1. It's taken 180 years for French champagne Boizel, $99, to reach our shores, but it might just have been worth the wait - particularly if you like your bubbles on the fruitier side. Positioned on the prestigious Ave de Champagne, Boizel boasts notes of white peach, apricot, pear and acacia honey.
2. Although not technically a champagne, House of Arras' bubbles are widely considered equal to the stuff, and their new vintage - the 1998 House of Arras 20th Anniversary Late Disgorged, $350 - is set to exceed expectations. The most expensive sparkling wine ever produced in Australia, it spent 16 years on lees before it was disgorged early this year and just 300 bottles have been produced.
3. The first champagne created especially for cocktails, Veuve Clicquot RICH, $110, is best served over ice (in a champagne saucer, mind you) with summery additions like pineapple, grapefruit zest, cucumber, tea and even capsicum. Fruity and gourmand, try it if you like your drinks sweet.