If you’re looking for the perfect bottle of bubbly to ring in the New Year, look no further! From Cava to Cremant and, of course, the all time classic Champagne I’ve done the research and am sharing six of my favorite sparklers at a variety of price ranges that are perfect for New Year's Eve.
In addition, I’ve also paired each sparkling wine selection with a timely toast. And after a crazy pandemic-ridden 2020, I think they are especially meaningful. So without further ado, here are my favorite splurges and steals:
Poema is a small-production Spanish wine producer in Spain’s Penedès region where the best vineyards are located. While Cava is made using the same method as Champagne, aka the Méthode Traditionelle or Método Tradicional, it incorporates the region’s three indigenous grapes: Parellada, Macabeo + Xarel-lo. It is made in a “Brut” style, meaning the wine is “dry” (not sweet!). This wine is clean, refreshing + mineral-driven with citrus-infused notes of green apple, toasted brioche, honeycomb + almond skin.
Toast: "In the New Year may your right hand be stretched out in friendship but never in want." ~ Traditional Irish Toast
Founded in 1818, Chateau Calvet is one of France’s oldest brands + while it was sold in 1882, a 6th generation descendent is now re-introducing the brand back to the U.S. markets. Like Champagne, this sparker is made using the Méthode Traditionelle (aka Méthode Champenoise) but it’s a blend of indigenous Bordeaux grapes: 70% Semillon + 30% Cabernet Franc. This cremant has a beautiful golden yellow color with fine bubbles + expressive notes of yellow apple, citrus + brioche accompanied by a fresh + lively acidity.
Toast: "May we live to learn well + learn to live well. May you live as long as you want + never want as long as you live." ~ Anonymous
Blanc de Noirs means "white from black" and as the name implies this sparkler from "America's House of Sparkling Wine" is predominantly Pinot Noir, made from 91% Pinot Noir and 9% Chardonnay. Schramsberg pioneered the Blanc de Noirs style in the United States, producing the first such American sparkler in 1967. This luxurious sparkling wine has a creamy texture of toasted brioche, vanilla, baked apple and hazelnut. While perfect for enjoying on its own it has ample body to stand up to dishes including macadamia-crusted halibut or roasted pork tenderloin.
Toast: "Here's a toast to the future; a toast to the past, and a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant, the past a bright dream. May our friends remain faithful and dear." ~ Anonymous
Known as the Champagne that seduced the Royal Courts, Charles Heidsieck is definitely one of Champagne's best kept secrets. This House's non vintage offering is one of my personal favorites, representing a decadent blend of 1/3 each Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier. The fact that it includes 40% reserve wine in the blend with an average age of 10 years, with some going back as far as 15 years, really sets this cuvée apart. The result is a toasty, rich, complex style of Champagne with notes of apricot, dried fruit and almonds that is ideal for ringing in the New Year.
Toast: "May you never lie, cheat or drink. But if you must lie, lie in each other's arms. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink with all of us because we love you!" ~ Anonymous
Winemaker Francis Egly's wines are counted among the most well-respected "Grower Champagnes" and are made with the utmost of care from vines located in the Grand Cru villages of Bouzy, Verzenay and Ambonnay. This bright and refreshing Brut is a blend of 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay that is not fined or filtered, allowing the terroir to shine through. Notes of warmed crepes drizzled with fruit compote; pink and white flowers; and a touch of vanilla are evident on the nose of this Champagne followed by flavors of black and red cherries, fresh ginger and white pepper. A special bottle for a special evening!
Toast: "For last year's words belong to last year's language, and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning." ~ T.S. Elliot
Krug is known for its unrelenting attention to detail in producing one of the finest Champagnes in the world. Krug President Maggie Henriquez likens their portfolio of cuvées to haute couture due to the meticulous attention to detail involved in their production, and rightly so: the Krug Grande Cuvée, the house's flagship multi-vintage bottling, is a blend of 120 hand-crafted reserve wines from over ten different vintages. The full-bodied, opulent Grande Cuvée delights with enticing aromas of toasted brioche, marzipan, and complex flavors of citrus peel, hazelnuts and spice. An exceptionally elegant cuvée!
Toast: "Be at war with your voices, at peace with your neighbors + let every New Year find you a better man." ~ Benjamin Franklin
No matter which sparkler you select to enjoy on New Year's Eve I wish you a wonderful evening and all the best in the New Year ahead!