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Bubbly wine tasting debunks the ‘has to be expensive’ and ‘has to be French’ myth

We were invited to a blind bubbly wine tasting by our friends at The Local Nose.  The idea of the event was to taste both champagnes and sparkling wines of all price points and from various regions to see if one could discern the difference between champagne vs. sparkling wine, and expensive vs. inexpensive.

For Paul and I it was an interesting and illuminating experience. I am a self-professed bubbly addict  – Prosecco, Cava, Champagne, you name it, I love it. And Paul is just discovering the joys of the bubbly in recent years. Ostensibly we should be miles apart with regard to bubbly expertise. But actually this is not the case….on the scoring card, we got exactly the same number of questions right. In other words we tied. Tied! Were all my years of “investment” in bubbly drinking experiences and tours of vineyards all for naught?

Well, no. But here’s what I learned at the blind bubbly tasting event:

1) It doesn’t have to be expensive to be high quality
One of my favorites was a S$36 ($26 USD) bottle of Austrian NV Szigeti Brut. A dry, drinkable champagne with a bit of citrus and a wonderfully clean finish. Perfect for aperitifs. And for this price, perhaps I should start drinking this instead of water 😉

2) Veuve Clicquot, my usual favourite, has been given a run for its money!
It turns out my absolute favourite for the evening was Champagne Moutard Brut, S$60 ($43 USD). While more expensive than the Austrian wine above, when compared to my usual pick of Veuve Clicquot at a price of S$88 ($63 USD), this is an exceptional value! It’s light and citrusy, with a tiny hint of floral and a soft finish.

3)    At the end of the day, it’s just about what you like
I was reminded to trust my taste buds, rather than fancy labels or the popular masses. Sure you can buy that bottle whose label will be universally recognized and will impress your guests…or you can surprise and delight your guests with your discerning palate and the ability to discover lesser known gems.

So get out there and discover some fantastic champagnes and sparkling wines. Please don’t relegate this majestic drink to the odd and in between special occasion. And above all, trust your palate….as we learned, it doesn’t matter what it costs or what’s on the label, just enjoy.

Some local resources to help you get your bubbly on!:

The Local Nose, Singapore
A helpful website all about wines in Singapore.

Great value French wines delivered to your door in Singapore. Stocks the $60 Moutard Brut mentioned above.

Rubicon Reserve Wines
A Singapore distributor with an extensive list of old and new world wines. Stocks the S$38 Szigeti mentioned above.

Count the number of sparking/champagnes tasted (Not pictured, our welcome drink & one bottle in flight 3



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