Valentine's Day 2015: 10 best champagne and sparkling wine

Whether you’re after a bottle for Valentine’s or a weekend do, IndyBest raises a glass to sparklers fit for a special occasion

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The Independent Online

Forget music, the food of love comes in 75cl bottles. A chilled glass of champagne on Valentine’s day is just the thing to get you in the mood.

{1} Gusbourne Rose Brut Reserve 2010: £27.50, leaandsandeman.co.uk

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It is rare that a wine lives up to the marketing blurb. But this brut reserve from the Gusbourne Estate is Kent does just that. It is Chardonnay-heavy (68 per cent), fresh and bubbly on the tongue and very good for its price.

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{2} Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2006 Champagne: £59, moet.com

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This is the house of Moët’s 40th vintage rosé champagne, created from a single top-notch harvest. Its flavour runs from prune to plum with a bit of rose thrown in. A well-known wine and a solid choice for 14 February.

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{3} Cloudy Bay Pelorus: £19.99, morrisons.com

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This cracker of a wine from New Zealand is made by combining several differing clones of chardonnay and pinot noir. Together they create a moussey wine with lots of vanilla and peach notes. 

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{4} Cape’s 2009 Graham Beck The Rhona Blanc de Blancs: £13.99, amazon.co.uk

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A wine that seems to foam over with rich nuttiness, this blanc de blancs hails from South Africa and is a good go-to for those of us who like vanilla and cream flavours in our sparklers.

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{5} Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne: £160, majestic.co.uk

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If you want to impress (and you’ve just been paid) then you won’t do better than Krug. It is the best non-vintage champagne in the world and made by blending 120 wines, some up to 15 years old, left to age for six years. The result is a wine as dainty as a prima ballerina with lots of toast and pastry notes to it.

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{6} Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve NV Champagne: £45.33, thedrinkshop.com

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Charles Heidsieck is one of the most venerable names in Champagne – and this 2014 International Wine Challenge Trophy-winner wine doesn’t disappoint. The Chef de Cave Thierry Roset has crafted a real corker here: its silky texture is shot through with strawberry, vanilla and the slightest hint of pepper, too. 

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{7} 2012 Philippe Michel Crémant du Jura: £7.29, aldi.co.uk

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From Jura, in eastern France, comes this surprisingly good sparkler. Part of Aldi’s enviable alcohol range, it is appley and crisp and made from 100 percent chardonnay and has won a host of awards.

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{8} Mumm Champagne Cordon Rouge: £26.00, 31dover.com

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The red sash on this bottle is meant to resemble the Legion d’Honneur and has, as of last year, become the office partner of the Palais de la Légion d’Honneur. Little surprise, either – it is very fine. A dry crowd-pleaser.

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{9} Ruinart Blancs de Blancs Champagne: £60, majestic.co.uk

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Ruinart is all about heritage. It bottles its chardonnay-only blancs de blancs in the 18th-century style, using clear glass, so on the table it looks particularly impressive. But, more importantly, it tastes delicious, the pale yellow nectar is rich in nectarine, apricot and floral flavours.

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{10} Waitrose Blanc de Blancs Brut Champagne: £24.99, waitrosecellar.com

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Lively and elegant, this chardonnay-only champagne seems to dance a little jig on your tongue. It is dry in style but not so much that it threatens to rip your throat out. It is quite limey with quite a zing to it.

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Verdict:

For a bottle that will go down well any day of the week, Cloudy Bay Pelorus is a solid buy. If money is no object, opt for the peerless Krug.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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