sipping guide: new year’s sparklers

photo by Chris Chapman

I’ve had a few friends ask me over the past couple of weeks for recommendations as to what Champagne they should buy as gifts, and what they should drink at their own parties.  As my previous job was in the wine industry, I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to taste some great sparkling wines, and would gladly drink Champagne (or any other good sparkling wine) any time you set it in front of me.

Though I consider myself more “enthusiast” than “expert”, I do happen to know a few pretty noteworthy ones and I am sharing them with you as you prepare to ring in the New Year!  (Bear in mind that all the over $100 wines on my list are Champagne, meaning, from the Champagne region in France, which is why they are pricier, than say, wine from Domaine Chandon in California.  I’ve included some other non-French wines and other appellations in the under $100 section.)

If money is really no object (i.e. if your last name is Buffet or Arnault):
2000 Krug “Clos du Mesnil” Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
1998 Krug “Clos du Mesnil” Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
2000 Moet & Chandon “Dom Pérignon” Brut Rosé Champagne

If you’re a high-roller (or just like drinking like one):
1996 Ruinart “Dom Ruinart” Brut Rosé Champagne
1999 Salon Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Krug Brut Rosé Champagne

If you want to splurge for New Year’s (but still be able to afford groceries in January):
1995 Charles Heidsieck “Blanc des Millénaires” Brut Champagne
2004 Vilmart “Coeur de Cuvée” Brut 1er Cru Champagne (I personally love love Vilmart!)
2004 Perrier Jouët “Belle Epoque” Brut Champagne

Best sparkling under $100:
NV Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé
NV Ayala Brut Nature Zero
NV Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs
2005 Domaine Carneros Le Rêve Blanc de Blancs

Balling on a budget – Under $40:
NV Allimant-Laugner Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé (one of my absolute favorite non-Champagne sparkling)
NV Lucien Albrecht Cremant d’Alsace Brut Rosé
NV J Cuvée 20 Brut
2007 Iron Horse Wedding Cuvée (love, love, love, LOVE this wine so much)
NV Louis Roederer “Brut Premier” Champagne

PS. No one paid me to write anything nice about any of these wines – this are purely wines that I enjoy, so no worries, no hidden sponsorship advertising here!

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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

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