New Year’s Eve is the best reason to drink Champagne/sparkling wine throughout the day or meal or whenever. There are many fine French Champagnes beside the Moets and Veuve Clicquots; in fact we don’t much care for this year’s version of Veuve.
Champagne/sparklers are ready to drink when you buy them and not every year is a vintage year.
With those thoughts in mind I will tell you that Dom Perignon @ $130 is lovely but the Moet Imperial @ $34 (same company) is really what you want and you can get three of them for the same price. So following that logic here’s my short list of New Year’s sparklers:
Korbel Rose’, ($11) Good with food or as a good glass to toast away.
Korbel Natural ($12) Dry and crisp this bottle surprises with its full mouth feel and tastes way above the price point.
*Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs ($14 w/Binny’s card) Heavy on the Pinot Noir with a rich depth and almost cherry flavor, will be great with roasted poultry and many appetizers.
*Gloria Ferrer Brut ($14 w/Binny’s card) Crisp and clean with great citrus notes, both wines are a real deal and my pick of the under twenty litter.
Piper Sonoma Blanc de Blanc ($15) Quite lovely and refreshing again playing above the PP
Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs ($30) OK now we’re getting into some wine where sophistication starts to show, quite nice with great body and fruit.
Roederer Estate L’Ermitage ’04 ($40) You won’t believe it’s from Mendocino county, always one of my favorites.
Taittinger Cuvée Prestige rosé ($47) the slight flavor of yeast that is so characteristic of Champagnes; the steely minerality — a lovely balance.
Gosset Grande Reserve ($60) Gosset makes some of the most elegant, restrained Champagnes I’ve ever tasted, excellent for any traditional New Year’s meal or elegant toast.