Ringing in the new year requires that most elegant of beverages: Champagne. You know, the golden, effervescent, Chardonnay-based wine from the region of France with the same name.
But New Year’s Eve should also include Italian Prosecco, Spanish Cava and domestic sparkling wine. All delicious and value-centric.
When the clock winds down, don’t be left empty handed. Below are a few suggested sips. All are widely available at Total Wine & More, BevMo and AJ’s Fine Foods.
Here’s to a great 2015!
• J Vineyards and Winery Brut Rose, Sonoma, Calif. – The sparkling wines of J Vineyards and Winery show fine Russian River Valley cool-climate fruit combined with gentle, respectful winemaking by Melissa Stackhouse and winery founder Judy Jordan. Fine bubbles exude delicate strawberry cream aromas. Bright tangerine-raspberry flavors coat your palate. Serve with smoked salmon and cheese canapes. $38.
• La Marca Prosecco, Veneto, Italy – Produced from 100 percent Glera grapes from hundreds of small vineyards throughout the region, the winery in 2007 was awarded a “Top 100 Wines of the Year” by Wine Spectator in its prestigious annual poll. The wine is consistently amazing year after year. The wine brings fresh citrus and white floral notes to the nose, and clean citrus, green apple and mineral-toast to the palate. The finish is light, refreshing and crisp. $20.
• Jaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava, Spain – This fine sparkler is made using the “Traditional Method,” meaning the secondary fermentation producing bubble occurs in-bottle. Its fresh, toasty nose, beautiful citrus, green apple and mineral flavors complement a lively mouth-feel and crisp finish. Perfect with seafood, sushi and caviar. Awesome value play at just $10.
• Iron Horse Vineyards 2010 Classic Vintage Brut, California – This venerable winery has had its wines served at White House State dinners, including previous versions of this outstanding sparkling wine. This vintage is rich, creamy, dry and delicious with precise, pinpoint bubbles. Flavors include red apple, mandarin orange and hazel-nuttiness. A fun New Year pairing might be an avocado and baby shrimp salad. $42.
Contact Drinks Editor Mark Nothaft via e-mail and click here and follow him on Twitter. Subscribe to his frequent columns on Examiner and click here.