Special occasions often bring out the lavish side of our nature, and what better way to celebrate than with great Champagne and delicious chocolates.
The wonderful Billecart-Salmon Cuvée Elisabeth Salmon 2002 offers something a little different. Fresh, crisp and with a natural beauty, rosé champagne is popular at this time of the year and this rosé is produced by adding a small amount of red wine to the already excellent Billecart Salmon champagne.
“It has a deep complexity, a savoury quality that takes this out of the flavour spectrum where most pink champagnes reside,” says Merkulovs in Vivino. “Simply, it’s the best rosé champagne on the market.” This delightful wine is widely available.
Harrods, like many exclusive department stores, offer a simple all-in-one solution to feed your chocolate needs through the festive season and beyond. With two distinctly different options, The East India Company’s Chocolate Discovery and The Celebration of Chocolate Hamper, just about all your hedonistic confectionary pleasures should be satisfied, and shared, irrespective of your tastes.
The East India Company’s Chocolate Discovery features a range of pantry items – chocolate sugar cane, decadent biscuits and drinking chocolate, alongside chocolate truffles and a wide selection of enrobed nuts, beans and fruits, a host of specialist chocolate bars, plus the fabulous Book of Chocolate. The Celebration of Chocolate, meanwhile, features Marc de Champagne Chocolate Truffles, Pistachio White Chocolate Truffles and a range of couverture chocolate bars to pique your interest.
With world-wide delivery, check out their amazing festive hampers too!
Goût de Diamants’ Taste of Diamonds was released in 2013 by Shammi Shinh, founder of the Knightsbridge-based Prodiguer brand. Crafted from 100% Grand Cru grapes, Goût de Diamants is produced at the tiny 8-hectare, family-owned, Champagne Chapuy in Oger.
Each bottle of Goût de Diamants is adorned with a brilliant cut Swarovski crystal placed in the centre of a diamond-shaped pewter design. The limited edition bottle, designed by Alexander Amosu, is currently the most expensive champagne in the world – unsurprisingly, stocks are limited.
The merely extravagant
More realistically priced, and with wider availability, comes the Moet & Chandon Dom Perignon Charles & Diana 1961. The 1961 classic was chosen in 1981 as the official Champagne for the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles. Magnums of this terrific vintage from the year Diana was born were served on the day and carried a special insignia created just for the ceremony. For a touch of romantic nostalgia this must take some beating. A limited number of this vintage Brut Champagne, released to commemorate the occasion, are available now.
At the head of this niche market is perhaps the Danish-born Fritz Kinpschildt, who creates confectionary heaven from his Connecticut kitchen. From his handmade artisan gift boxes, to his current showpiece, the oversized La Madeline au Truffe, you simply cannot go wrong.
La Madeline au Truffe is a decadent ganache made from heavy cream, truffle oil, sugar and 70% Valrhona chocolate, surrounding a rare Perigord truffle, which is then heavily coated in yet more Valrhona dark chocolate before being rolled in fine cocoa powder.
Presented on a bed of sugar pearls in a silver box tied with a ribbon, it might be the perfect chocolate-lovers gift.
La Madeline is said, by Forbes, to be the world’s most expensive and extravagant chocolate to date. It is only made to order, but note Kinpschildt products have no preservatives and must be consumed within seven days, which is why they offer rapid airmail options…