The go to drink on Saturday night will be bubbly, as it is the drink of celebrations, to toast special occasions and, for many like me, an ideal option for starting and ending any night. If you are looking for a few great bottles to ring in 2012 in style consider one of these ranging in both price range and flavor profiles, and on sale in pretty much every wine shop, liquor store and specialty shop in town. Some selections were sent for editorial consideration. Cheers to a great New Year!
Laurent-Perrier Brut Millésimé 2002 – A vintage bubbly from the heart of Champagne, only made in exceptional years when the grapes show they are substantial enough to stand on their own in a vintage Champagne, instead of blending with several vintages to create the most widely seen NV (non-vintage). 2002 was the best in Champagne since 1996, another year for great vintage bubbles. Crisp and elegant, quite reflective of the Laurent-Perrier house style. 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, creating an initially fruit forward Champagne that opens to a well-rounded, citrus fruit and toasted brioche palate.Perrier-Jouet Grand Brut – One of the finest from Champagne, blending all three traditional grapes together (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) to create a classic, complex and balanced wine. White peach, apricot and tropical fruit fill the palate with each sip of this dry and delicate Champagne.
Mumm Napa Brut Rose – From Napa Valley, the Mumm Napa Brut Rose is filled with floral notes of rose petals blending into layers of strawberry and ripe raspberry. Elegant and delicious, and usually retailing for about $20 a bottle. Make the glass a bit more festive by adding a few pomegranate seeds to the bubbly. The pop of fresh fruit will enhance the berry flavors.
Zonin Prosecco – This Prosecco from the heart of Italy is filled with fresh citrus and fruit flavors, with just a hint of almonds on the finish. A lively, clean bubbly with an easy sipping ability (and low alcohol level – 11%) that makes you want to sip it all night, and a price tag that will let you.
Segura Viudas Rose Brut Cava – A delicious, crisp, bone dry bubbly made in the traditional method of Champagne, but with the approachable price tag of a well made Spanish Cava. Balanced acidity and fruit open to layers of strawberry, cherry and quince with a slight pepper spice on the finish.
Anna de Codorniu Cava – A special Cava blending Chardonnay grapes (70%) with the traditional Cava blend of Macabeu, Parellada and Xarel·lo (10% each) resulting in a fresh, fruit forward bubbly from Spain. Balanced and refreshing, filled with lemon peel, green apple and ripe pear, but still very dry pairing well with anything from soft cheese to poached fish, yet also delicious on its own.
If you are a bubbly fan, but prefer a cocktail to strictly sipping bubbles all night, try mixing up a delicious Prosecco based cocktail currently on the menu at the recently opened Oak in the Design District – The Antoinette. Mix 1 part vodka (they use Tito’s), 1 part Cointreau and 1 part Prosecco with a bit of blackberry puree and a squeeze of lemon. Serve in a wide rimmed, traditional Champagne glass and garnish with fresh blackberries. Your holiday guests will be delighted.