Nothing works so well to lift the mood as a chilled glass of your favourite Champagne. It always feels a wee bit decadent putting a bottle of Ruinart in the fridge outside of family birthdays and special anniversaries, but I think we all need a bit of decadence in our lives every once in a while.

Champagne is a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France using the traditional method which encourages a secondary fermentation in the bottle. This means that the fizz is created in the bottle that you end up taking home and enjoying.

Most houses use a combination of three different grapes in the process, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier (one white and two red). Also allowed, but rarely used are Arbane, Petit Meslier, Pinot Blanc (which is very similar to Chardonnay) and Pinot Gris.

Each house will release a non-vintage (NV) style each year which is usually a mix of wines from three different years blended for consistency.

So the winemakers have a very tricky job, picking three different grape varieties, from perhaps twenty or thirty different sites, and from three (or more) different vintages. And each release is supposed to taste exactly the same.

Also, two or three times a decade the house will ‘declare the vintage’ which means that they believe that the quality of the individual harvest was good enough to stand on its own, but also that there was enough of a crop to ensure the vintage release whilst not compromising the NV releases to follow.

The Scottish market is very important for the Champagne producers, as we do like a wee glass of lovely bubbly every now and again. This means that we have an excellent array of beautiful bottles in our wine emporiums. So which one should you take home this weekend? Here are a few of my favourites.

Veuve Clicquot Brut NV (Majestic, £44.99…but it’s cheaper if you buy six bottles). The Veuve Clicquot NV has an amazing balance and a great maturity in the glass. It’s aged for much longer than the minimum requirement helping to create a top quality Champagne. Try this with scallops or oysters.

Laurent Perrier Rosé Brut NV (Waitrose, £60). Now, this is decadent but such a lovely treat and you’ll occasionally see it on offer in the run up to Christmas. It’s always a good idea to keep one in the cupboard for emergencies.

Nicolas Maillart 1er Cru Brut NV (Inverarity One to One, £24.99). This is a great Champagne that totally over-performs for the money. A large portion of the grapes used are actually of a Grand Cru level, which makes this one of the best bargains on the Champagne shelves.

Bollinger Rosé Brut NV (Waitrose, £24.99 for a half bottle). This is a wee bottle, but occasionally a wee bottle can be enough to kick-start your evening. Bollinger tends to be quite big and yeasty, but the rosé is much softer and it’s VERY easy to drink. I love it. Cheers!