What would New Year’s Eve be without the bubbles? On this last day of the year, we bring you some of our favourite champagne and sparkling options at a variety of price points, as well as food pairing options and cocktails to countdown to 2013 tonight in the ultimate celebratory indulgence.
If you’re going to opt for the expensive stuff, New Year’s Eve is the time to do so. For the splurge, the Krug, Grande Cuvee from France is a guaranteed crowdpleaser. Well received throughout the world, the Wine Spectator awarded this rich and powerful bubbly 95 points when they reviewed it in 2010. Krug makes a supreme pre-meal or pre-night-on-the-town indulgence, and, if you’re going to go all out, a brilliant complement to caviar, smoked salmon, lobster and a variety of seafood. Price: $271.95.
Another special occasion go-to (and looks pretty in the glass) is Moet and Chandon Moet Rose Imperial. Romantic and festive, dry with rich berry fruit on a long finish, the bubbly pairs well with “simple, intense and colourful flavours” (as suggested on Moet’s official website). It will pair well with an assortment of NYE party-appropriate appetizers, like cheese (especially goat cheese and mozzarella), red meat (perhaps beef skewers), seafood like shrimp and crab, and red-fleshed fruits. Full-bodied and flavourful, the aromas are dominated by the scent of wild strawberries. Price: $74.60.
For the more practical-minded, opt for a mid-priced but quality local option with Canadian-made Henry of Pelham Cuvée Catharine brut sparkling wine. It is a handpicked, bottle fermented sparkling wine that ages for an average of 30 months, taking up to three years from harvest to finished wine. The bubbly is a straw yellow colour with apple, toast and citrus aromas; dry, green apple and clean citrus finish. Price: $29.95.
Finally, giving inexpensive bubbly a better reputation, the Barefoot Bubbly is as easy to sip as it is to pronounce. Their beloved Moscato is available in a sparkling drinking option, the Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante.Moscato Spumante is a non-vintage sparkling wine sourced from several California grape-growing AVAs. Crisp and sweet (but not too sweet) the Barefoot Moscato Spumante bubbles over deliciously with sweet citrus Mandarin orange and tangerine flavours. Tasty without breaking the bank, Barefoot is a foolproof option this season. Price: $13.20 (Ontario, LCBO).
New Year’s Eve requires pacing oneself (after all, champagne goes straight to the head), and cocktails provide the opportunity to do just that. Luckily, bubbly pairs well for a variety of cocktail options to impress your guests as you revisit your bartending days this evening. Barefoot offers a variety of Bubbly Moscato Spumante cocktail recipes online. To please everyone from your refined mother-in-law to your frat boy cousin, one option is the Raspberry Lemonade Moscato Spumante Beer, made with equal part Barefoot Moscato Spumante Bubbly, equal part raspberry lemonade, equal part of your favourite beer and fresh raspberries, chilled in a pint glass, stirred and garnished with fresh raspberries.
For the morning after (providing you have some leftover), toast the first day with mimosas. Word of advice: don’t ruin the champagne or sparkling with cheap juice. If you can, use fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice (an alternative is Tropicana) and add a touch of peach liquor for an added burst of flavour.
Have a safe and story-filled night…cheers!