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Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeTravel GuideFood & DrinkGet Ready to Takeoff: The World's Best Champagne

Get Ready to Takeoff: The World’s Best Champagne

The flight attendant coming by with freshly squeezed OJ and cold bubbly triggers a Pavlovian response: fasten your seat-belt and prepare for takeoff.

This wasn’t always the case for TPOL when I used to ride peasant class. Before the abrasive flight attendant sternly warned me to turn off my electronics as I tried to send out one last text meant I had to brace myself for an uncomfortable ride in the middle seat for the next few hours understanding that champagne would not be served.

Posting pic after pic of champagne and my view from the wing exemplifies how ridiculous this whole points game is. Given that levity, I hope you’ll allow me to rank the best champagnes in the world whether drunk aboard an A380 or in the club. I’m certainly not an expert like I am in the world of Malbecs but my palette is improving.

À la vôtre!

10. Louis Roederer’s Cristal

What’s interesting about champagne is how it is portrayed in popular culture. Cristal used to be the most glamorous champagne one could order at the club then the CEO had some racist remarks and Cristal went from the club to snub.

Fuck Cristal, so they ask me what we drinking
I thought dudes remark was rude okay
So I moved on to Dom, Krug Rosé
And it’s much bigger issues in the world, I know
But I first had to take care of the world I know

I’ve only had Cristal a few times. On one occasion I was very disappointed because the champagne had gone bad. As a novice, I had no idea there was a specific shelf life for champagne. Drinking an ’82 bottle to commemorate the year I was born decades later is not a good idea when the shelf life for a vintage is 5-10 years from purchase.

Champagne in Bali, party lifestyle
Champagne in Bali, party lifestyle

9. Whatever Is Free

Moving on from Trump Champagne described above, I believe that some of the best champagne is free champagne. In the club or on a plane, free champagne is free. That fake sense of status makes even the most bitter of champagnes taste slightly appealing, if only for a moment.

Terrible champagne in Maldives not so terrible when it's Maldives
Terrible champagne in Maldives not so terrible when it’s Maldives

8. Freixenet Premium

The snobs will have a field day because I’ve included a bottle that technically isn’t champagne in this list. We all know the requirements for something to be called champagne. You are impressing no one by telling this College Jeopardy factoid.

Freixenet was surprisingly good even though it is very cheap to purchase. I highly suggest drinking a bottle at the Priority Pass Lounge in Atlanta.

2015-12-31 12.55.54
Cheap and crisp

7. La Grande Annee

Nothing says first class like a bottle of bubbly aboard Etihad. The champagne was lively but bitter, tender yet troubling. I don’t have the proper adjectives to describe this bottle. I can say that it was good but not great.

I assume apartments will have the same champagne as 777
I assume apartments will have the same champagne as 777

6. Luxor Champagne with 24 carat Gold Flakes

Call it novelty, call it stupidity, but I rather enjoyed my Goldschläger inspired champagne before hitting the rooftop pool at the Andaz San Diego. The champagne industry is competitive so marketing ploys like this may be necessary to gain market share. I wouldn’t go out of my way to purchase it but since it also corresponds with #9 on the list, I had no complaints.

Not a particular fan of rose
Not a particular fan of rose

5. Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut

Memories make champagne taste as good as it does. Mumm has been popped on a few noteworthy occasions including some fun in Ibiza and on my return from Abu Dhabi in the Etihad Lounge.

Breaking away from the normal tradition of Coors + Bloody Mary
Breaking away from the normal tradition of Coors + Bloody Mary

4. Dom Pérignon

Toasting Dom is the ultimate, how to make it in America champagne. Though not particularly seductive, Dom is Dom so it gets a high spot on this distinguished epicurean list.

The lifestyle of the MBA student
The lifestyle of the MBA student

3. Moet

Quality + great memories + great price point make Moet a winner for TPOL. It was the champagne of choice when I learned I passed the bar exam almost a decade ago.

A classless, amateur way of uncorking

2. Veuve Clicquot

I love Veuve. It tastes like success and is affordable even in Birmingham, Michigan or in an adult entertainment lounge in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The impromptu purchase of Vueve, always a good idea
The impromptu purchase of Veuve, always a good idea

1. Krug Grande Cuvée

The bubbles feel like crystalline pearls on the palate, exploding with acidulous flavours that stand out against a rich, smooth background of ripe fruit and exotic wood interlaced with the fragrance of white flowers.

That’s how the French expect TPOL to react when he drinks champagne per their website. Interestingly, I had almost used the words verbatim except I had been quoted as saying ‘medley of flowers’. Krug Grande Cuvée is best enjoyed on Cathay first, SQ first, or TPOL’s yacht, a work in progress.

The ultimate sign of a successful blog
The ultimate sign of a successful blog


  1. Excepting the Bollinger and Mumm, LVMH has won total dominance in this post. Lots of good stuff out there with less name recognition, much of which comes in at lower price points than the common labels. Krug is really really tasty though, and so much more enjoyable when it’s free!

    • I agree with you but unfortunately the points and party lifestyle only provide the usual suspects. I’m always down for new bubbles.

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