“There’s something about bubbles that make people happy—especially when they’re handed to you in a perfectly chilled flute. Whether your preference is for Prosecco, Cava, sparkling cider, or classic Champagne, enjoying an effervescent drink can instantly put you in a celebratory mood. And what better excuse to indulge than a night at one of your favorite hotels? From Champagne-themed suites and bars pouring rare vintages to sabering classes and lobby vending machines dispensing bubbly on demand, here are 11 ways to toast the season around the world.
As with red and white wines, many sparkling varietals (particularly Champagnes) vary in quality depending on the year and get better with age—resulting in some rare and coveted vintages. Luckily for aficionados, several hotels around the world have launched dedicated bubbly bars that stock some of those covetable blends.
At the Shangri-La London at the Shard, the 34th-floor Champagne Bar features a nearly 10-foot-high Wine Wall that houses the largest selection of Louis Roederer Champagnes in the UK, many of which can be enjoyed by the glass or in a three-glass tasting flight. Most notably, the bar is now serving the 2008 Cristal Champagne by Louis Roederer, which was recently released—and as the famed house didn’t make a 2010 or 2011 vintage, it’s considered an extra-special release. (The hotel is also working with Louis Roederer to create exclusive Champagnes for the bar, so there will soon be more bubbly calling you back.)
Opened this June, the Peninsula Chicago’s Z Bar is a great place to try some unique bubbly—including Lanson Black Label Brut, Henriot Brut Souverain, Bollinger Special Cuvee, and Naveran Dama Cava—while knowledgeable bartenders give you a crash course in the story behind each label. At the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, guests can settle into the plush JCB Tasting Lounge—outfitted with velvet sofas and gilded chandeliers—to sip offerings from noted winemaker Jean-Charles Boisset’s handpicked selection, which includes an impressive stock of rare and exclusive bubbles. And in Vancouver, the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s Botanist Lounge balances its much-lauded cocktail menu with a dedicated Champagne Lounge pouring top vintages from prestigious houses, as well as a selection of small-batch Grower blends (the designate for sparkling wines produced by the same estates that own the vineyards) from France, Portugal, Spain, and British Columbia.”