It’s almost New Year’s Eve and hopefully everyone’s getting ready to celebrate in some form, whether you are headed to a big party or a simple evening at home. No matter what you do, it should at the very least involve some champagne at midnight. So how to choose a champagne? Well, first of all, there are all kinds of sparkling wines and some of the ones that are not necessarily “champagne” can be really great deals. Below, I will pick out several different bottles for different personalities. Hopefully, you can find your own. Gawk at the more . . . aspirational picks, and indulge in the rest! Happy holidays!
The High Roller: For the high roller, consider Champagne Krug Clos de Mesnil, The price will vary depending on the vintage but will certainly run you anywhere from several hundred to more than $1,000. What is this fancy bottle of champagne? Well, Krug is one of the famous champagne houses of France, along with Veuve Clicquot and Moet et Chandon. This particular champagne comes from chardonnay grapes grown in Le Mesnil. Each bottling is produced from a single vintage of grapes grown in a single vineyard. If you feel this champagne is not quite fancy enough for you, as you are somehow rolling in money while the rest of us scrape by, then consider the Champagne Krug Clos d’Ambonnay, which will cost you several thousand dollars instead of several hundred.
Film Buffs: For film lovers, how about a bottle of Mumm Cordon Rouge? Rick and Ilsa’s Parisian romance is awash in this particular champagne, and what better way to ring in the New Year than to drink like you’re in love, or alternatively, like you’re in the middle of a war? If you prefer contemporary film, how about celebrating with Frances Ford Coppola’s Sofia Blanc de Blancs. You get two filmmakers for the price of one that way, and if you want to be really quirky, you can purchase it in a can and drink it like a beer.
Bargain Hunters: If you are looking for a great deal, consider stepping away from the champagnes and towards some sparkling wines that tend to be great deals. Cava, from Spain, and Prosecco, from Italy, tend to be fantastic bargain sparkling wines. Take, for example, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava. It is a consistently well-reviewed wine and it will run you only about $9. If you prefer Italy, then try Mionetto “Il” Prosecco. It comes in a nice looking bottle and will only cost you about $10-$12. These are just two examples, but really there are tons of great bargains to be had in Cava and Prosecco. I would just go to a trusted wine store and ask there about a nice one.
Pink Lovers: It may be embarrassing to admit, but some of us out there do love pink in the right context, even if we are older than 12. A glass of bubbling rosé just looks nice—delicate and elegant. If you prefer a bit of pink, then consider Demoiselle Vranken Brut Grand Cuvee Rosé. It’s light and airy, and goes well with dessert. Perfect for a midnight toast. Another rosé of similar quality is Heidsieck & Co Monopole Rosé Top. It is bright and fruity and also good with desserts or as an aperitif.
Those Who Need to Be Different: Some people like to be unique. The rows of staid champagnes start to look the same and sometimes you want to do something completely different for your celebration. How about trying a sparkling red wine? The Black Chook Australian sparkling Shiraz is certainly different and a fun change of pace. It’s a dark wine that’s bursting with flavor, and the bubbles are subtle and add a bit of fun to the drinking. If your midnight toast will signal the end of the evening, then consider a dessert wine. Moscato d’Asti is a lightly sparkling wine with a delicate floral and fruit flavor. It is also light on the alcohol, which after a night of partying may be just the thing to cap off the evening. Try Saracco Moscato D’Asti.