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Festive fizz

The sound of a cork popping marks the start of any good party, but not all sparklers are the same – find your perfect sip with our guide to Christmas party bubbles

Champagne society

Want to find your signature champagne and serve it like a master sommelier? If you like bubbles crisp and dry, a blanc de blancs – made from white grapes (typically 100 per cent chardonnay) – is perfect. Try Oudinot Brut champagne, a winner at this year’s International Wine Challenge. If you prefer something rich and toasty, go for a blanc de noirs – white champagne created from red grapes. Herbert Beaufort Grand Cru champagne – made from pinot noir grapes – is in this style and won a Decanter award. As for glasses, a flute is best for retaining bubbles, but a coupe lets in more air and suits a richer champagne.

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The best alternative bubbles

It's no secret that we're a nation of prosecco devotees and our case of six light, crisp bottles has the five-star reviews to prove it, but, there are other delicious bottles out there to discover. For an alternative party-starter, serve up flutes of refreshing Mount Bluff Brut NV from New Zealand with your canapés. If you want a perfect partner for smoked salmon starters, try matching with an elegant Crémant de Bourgogne made with a blend of pinot noir, aligote, gamay and chardonnay or try something a little different with your cheese course with a sparkling rich red lambrusco from the Italian region of Emili. Come closer to home with an English sparkling rosé from Chapel Down in Kent – a delicate pink fizz bursting with honeysuckle and berries that will pair perfectly with the spices in a leftover turkey curry or tropical fruit salad.

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