Even if you never touch anything even remotely wine related for the rest of the year New Year's Eve is the one day that quaffing champagne becomes de riguer.
While true connoisseurs may be happy spending $100 and up on a fancy label, most of us are more than content to simply have a decent bubbly on hand to toast the New Year in with.
The good news is that there are a number of selections available that will leave you change from $30 and still taste good enough to drink as well as spray wildly around the room. Here are five of our favorites:
Freixenet Carta Nevada Brut - $8.00
A Spanish champagne? Indeed, and this light, slightly sweet vanilla infused sparkler is the perfect choice for those who are often jarred by the taste of a drier champagne. And don't let the price fool you, this is a perfectly acceptable bubbly choice, especially if you are catering to a crowd!
Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvee - $9.99-$11.99
A fun name, a price tag that on average comes in under $12 and a good looking bottle; what more could you ask for in a budget champagne? Well, how about the fragrant taste and aromas of crisp green apples, jasmine blossoms, kiwi, and peach. This a beautifully light and crisp champagne that pairs perfectly with seafood and veggies and it's flavor lingers nicely without that strange aftertaste that some less expensive champagnes leave behind.
Korbel Chardonnay Champagne - $14.99
This slightly more robust offering combines the best of two worlds; a drinkable Chardonnay with the fun and sparkle of a good champagne. The flavors are warm and slightly buttery, with notes of apple, pear and oak that really hit the spot. This is generally known as a 'champagne lover's table wine' as it really does offer a marvelous balance between the two.
Gruet Blanc de Blancs - $15.99
Another place that you would never naturally associate with champagne production is New Mexico but the vineyards there have been generating quite a buzz over the last few years and this slightly tropical tasting champagne is the perfect of example of the fun and fruity offerings being created in the desert. A sweet shot of pineapple is certainly different but in no way unpleasantly so and the green apple and pear notes save it from being too sweet.
Poema Brut Rosé Cava - $9 to high end
A rose champagne is another slightly offbeat choice but what could be more festive than pink bubbly? This Spanish Cava is fragrantly packed with the flavors of strawberries, raspberries and even a hint of rose petals.
Champagne Service Tips
If you are not a regular champagne consumer then you may not be fully conversant with the right way to serve it. In fact many people, even those a little more used to quaffing the bubbly stuff make what are some rudimentary mistakes when doing so.
Oddly enough the biggest of these involves the glassware. It turns out that, according to the experts, the traditional champagne flute is not the best choice at all. This is because the narrow surface area stifles champagne’s aromas.
The preferred choice of sommeliers is a wide bottomed wine goblet and apparently the change in shape really does make a noticeable positive difference.
And then, of course, there is the question of temperature. The champagne on ice concept is, once again, not actually the right choice as the ice freezes the most delicate notes in many champagne choices.
Instead, the bubbly should actually be stored in the fridge and then left to sit out in room temperature conditions for five to ten minutes before it is actually served.
So there you have it, celebrate New Years Eve in your own sophisticated way. As always, a quote to remember.
“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” ― Ernest Hemingway