New Year’s bubbly 12-27-2023

While sparkling wine deserves to be enjoyed year-round, New Year’s Eve and special celebrations are when most people experience it. Suggestions on New Year strategies:

• First, consider limiting your celebration to your home or friends/family very close by. New Year’s Eve is amateur drunk night, and even if you celebrated responsibly, there is good chance others on the road did not.

• Sparkling wine is festive and fun. Connotes joy. You survived another year. You have a new year to look forward to. And—from an alcohol perspective—sparkling is relatively low, usually 12% ABV or less. The fizz also gives you the feeling of being full, helping tap the consumption brake.

• There is a very wide range of sparkling to chose from. Champagne is high end, from $50 to well past $100. Sparkling wines made exactly same way as Champagne (méthode champenoise/traditional method), but not in Champagne, fall in the $17-50 range.

• Great values can be found in Spanish cava and Italian prosecco and sparklings—from $10-20.

• Avoid bottom shelf stuff. It is plonk wine infused with CO2. It may cost less than $10, but you will pay the price in the morning.

My New Year wish for you: May 2024 exceed the fond memories you have of 2023.

Tasting notes:

• Famiglia Zonin Extra Dry Prosecco DOC: Fresh, clean, crisp, very approachable bubbly made by Italy’s largest privately-held wine company. $10-12 Link to my review

• Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut Cava NV: Crisp, clean, one of the great value wines in the world. Very dry and smooth with outstanding acidity. $10-12 Link to my review

• Codorníu Cuvée Clasico Brut Cava NV: Excellent, easy drinking Spanish bubbly; citrus, led by Meyer lemon. $12-18 Link to my review

• Valdo Marca Oro Valdobbiadene Prosecco Brut DOC: Simple and simply delicious sparkler. Versatile, fresh, fun. $15-17 Link to my review

• Gruet Brut Rosé NV: Superb, accessible, correct traditional method pinot noir brute sparkling made with 100% pinot noir in New Mexico. Excellent value. $17 Link to my review

• Domaine Nicolas Brunet Vouvray Brut 2020: Traditional method sparkling chenin blanc; pure, pleasing, intriguing lemon-citrus on finish. $29 Link to my review

• Domaine Amirault Crémant de Loire Les Quarterons Brut NV: Traditional method. Vivid fruits led by chenin blanc make for a tight, tasty, energetic, clean wine with excellent acidity. $35-40 Link to my review

• Laurent-Perrier La Cuvée Brut Champagne NV: Polish and finesse in a lively, fresh package. $53-60 Link to my review

• Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut Champagne NV: Opulent, superb fruit, impressive finesse, significant structure. All you ask for from a a world-class Champagne. $85-100 Link to my review

Last round: New Year’s resolutions: Stop drinking wine and exercise instead. Win the lottery. Odds are about the same. No, lottery odds are better.