For some people, finding someone to kiss when the clock strikes midnight is much easier than choosing a bottle of champagne to toast the New Year. It’s natural to want the very best for a great New Year’s Eve celebration, but you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a bottle of Dom Perignon to enjoy the opulence of sparkling wine. Here are three tips to expertly choose and serve some festive fizz at your party.
Look at the Label
There are plenty of sparkling wines on the market, but only those made in France’s Champagne region can bear the name. There is also other information on the label that can help you choose a bottle according to your tastes.
- Brut: dry, fewer than 15 grams of residual sugar per liter
- Extra Brut: drier than brut, fewer than 6 grams of residual sugar per liter
- Brut Zéro: driest of all, less than 3 grams of residual sugar per liter
Priced around $35, NV Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve Particulière is an affordable choice for New Year’s toasts. Wine enthusiasts that prefer a drier beverage will enjoy 89 Mailly Grand Cru NV Extra Brut, priced just over $50 a bottle.
Ask for Recommendations
Generally speaking, the smaller and faster the bubbles, the better the bottle. Without uncorking it though, how can you tell its quality? Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations when browsing your local liquor store or wine shop. The people who work there have intimate knowledge of their product offerings and can help you choose a bottle based on your budget and your palatial preferences.
Pop Like a Pro
Nothing punctuates a New Year’s celebration quite like the pop of a cork. Contrary to what many people think, however, the bubbly shouldn’t spray from the bottle. The proper way to open the bottle is to firmly grasp the cork with one hand and twist the bottom of the bottle with the other hand until you feel the cork release. It still makes a satisfying sound, but without the mess.