Only a few days remain until we bid farewell to 2009 and welcome a fresh start to a new year. While we wave goodbye with one hand, we will certainly hold a glass of bubbly in the other.
With that in mind we developed a list of bubblies that will help make your New Year's Eve fun. Since sparklers are great food wines, we give pairing ideas too so you can also begin the evening with some bubbly.
Sparkling wine is typically thought of as a special occasion wine. That simply should not be. Bubblies, as we call them, are great to pair with food and for that reason should be considered a main wine at any happening that has food, including New Year's Eve celebrations. But why?
Sparklers usually have higher acid levels than still wines and are great options for foods of high acidity (ie., salads in balsamic dressings, prosciutto).
Sparklers cleanse the palate when having with high fat foods (ie. cheeses, quiche, deep fried foods), and cut through the fat nicely.
On the contrary, sparklers are not good usually for pairing with fruit. A fruit's sweetness usually clashes with a sparkler's acidity.
Cheese is an easy food for sparklers - try hard ones - Manchego or Parmigiano Reggiano or soft ones - Brie or Camembert.
Enjoy our bubbly suggestions!
Jean Francois Merieu, Loire Valley, France ($18.99): Not Champagne but from the Loire Valley, this dry sparkler is mostly Chenin Blanc with some Chardonnay. Divine and our first choice after Champagne, this bubbly has a bright nose of apples and pears with hints of citrus.
Perrier Jouet Fleur Brut Champagne 2000 ($153.99): This is a specialty sparkler that is one to impress and proves true time and time again. Doesn't hurt that it rates 94 points. Perrier Jouet is a producer that's most known for its "flower bottle," one of Champagne's most recognizable designs.
1+1=3 Cava Brut, Spain ($15.99): This Spanish sparkler has smooth, dry, citrus fruit flavors that make it a great alternative to Champagne.
Grandial Brut, France ($10.99): If you want something from France but can't do the price of Champagne this should be your choice for a dry bubbly. This surprised us and others recently who had it at an in-home wine tasting.
Thierry Triolet a Bethon Brut Champagne ($37.99): Delicious yeast on the nose & palate, this Champagne has a mouth feel of golden delicious apples & fresh baked bread. You can't expect a better Champagne for the money!
Jacquart Rose Mosaique 1999 Champagne ($57.99): From the famed Champagne house, Jacquart, this Rose is lovely with soft notes of cranberries, raspberries & dried bread. The perfect Brut!
Carpene Malvolti Prosecco, Italy ($16.99): About an hour drive from Venice, Carpene Malvolti is a leader in Prosecco production. This dry Italian sparkler has delicate, fresh pear notes that end in a full, pleasant finish. Our Prosecco of choice for 2009's end.