Thursday, December 29, 2011

Are you ready for New Years Eve? Champagne and Sparkling Wine 101

I will be celebrating New Years Eve this year with a glass of "sparkling grape juice." HARDLY the same as a glass of "bubbly." If I WERE to be drinking a nice glass of champage or sparkling wine this year...I have a few thoughts on what I might be enjoying.  Below are a few to share. You may also be wondering the difference between Champagne and sparkling wine.....I will cover that too.

Here is the low down to help you sound uber knowledgeable and have everyone commending you on your fine bottle of bubbly at your New Years Eve celebrations. In trying to impress a larger crowd...know that champagnes and sparkling wines are classified by how dry they are. The most popular is "brut." Which also happens to be my favorite.

My favorites...I am sure these are not the best out there....just the best in my experience. I am including the label pictures to help.

Under $30- Mumm Napa Brut

Between $30-50- Champagne De Margerie Grand Cru

Over $50- Veuve Clicquot, by far my favorite champagne thus far!

If it wasn't cutting it so close to the would have had time to order a bottle from my favorite Napa Valley Sparkling wine vineyard....Domaine I am thinking of it…I may order myself a bottle to have in house for next year :-) If you visit Napa Valley, this is great place to stop on your way in to town.  We did the sparkling wine sampler, which was perfect.   My favorite is the 2007 Ultra Brut Sparkling Wine.

The difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine
The difference is simple. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France. Any other bottle from the US, Italy, whatever…are all "sparkling wines." Enough said.

How to best serve
The best temperture to serve is 45 degrees. Easy enough. Place it in the fridge for about 3 hours before serving.

What causes the bubbles in your bubbly?
As part of the fermentation process the winemaker adds yeast and sugar….they combine to create carbon dioxide…which makes the bubbles and a lot of pressure when trapped in a small space!

Enjoy your New Years Eve celebrations! Happy 2012 to all!


  1. I just saw a piece on Sparkling Wines on How It's Made. Very informative blog!

  2. Ohhhhhh I need to see if that will be replayed! Sounds cool!