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WINE OF THE WEEK: Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve

£37.95, Eton Vintners, £42, Berry Bros & Rudd

This fabulous Champagne was voted best value of the night at a tasting called Ultimate Champagne that I co-hosted this week. Louis Roederer Cristal 1995 was voted best, irrespective of price (around £300 a bottle), but the sumptuous Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve (be careful not to confuse it with any of the other Heidsiecks) is a Champagne niche enough to make a perfect present for a connoisseur and approachable enough to be a perfect present for anyone else. It’s a classic combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, but what sets it apart is that 40% of the blend is made up of specially matured reserve wine with an average age of ten years. It’s this that gives it its opulent flavours – buttered toast, brioche, praline, apricot, hazelnut, nutmeg – and makes it more like a top-notch vintage Champagne than a non-vintage.

Should anyone wants to hit the bargain basement instead, or as well, I suggest Philizot Veuve Monsigny Brut Champagne, £9.97, Aldi.

Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne, France

£37.95, Eton Vintners, £42, Berry Bros & Rudd

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