Guide to Choosing a Champagne or Wine for New Year’s

rosada cava new year's champagne

from Bloomburg Businessweek
Chosen with the help of Emilie Perrier, sommelier at Gabriel Kreuther in New York.

Stock Your Party
2013 Raventos i Blanc “de Nit” Rosado Cava, $23
(pictured above)

Easy and cheap, Spanish cavas were once maligned, but they’re getting more positive critical attention of late. Fruity, but not too sweet, this rosé version is a major bargain.

iron horseBring This to the Party
2009 Iron Horse Vineyards Classic Brut, $42

This rich, creamy sparkler from California is a surefire winner. The yeasty aroma and slightly nutty taste will pair well with whatever savory snacks your host is serving.

Something Special
NV Jacquesson Cuvee 737 Extra Brut, $62

The winemakers create a distinctive blend each year. This bold, full-bodied, and aromatic issue is from 2013—because nothing says “I appreciate you” like a limited edition.

salmon blanc-champagne for new year'sTo Impress a Wine Nerd
NV Billecart-Salmon Blanc de Blancs Brut, $70

A favorite among chefs and sommeliers for its finesse and food-friendliness, this fresh, elegant, medium-bodied Champagne has zesty green apple notes. (Remember that so you can repeat it later.)

Label Lingo Lesson #1: How Sweet Is It?
Ultra brut (or brut nature, or brut zero): Absolutely bone dry, for those who resist even a little sweetness.
Extra brut: Still reliably dry.
Brut: The most common designation; denotes a quite dry sparkling wine.
Extra dry: Confusingly, these wines are sweeter than those labeled brut.
Sec: The word means “dry” in French, but these bottles are even sweeter than those labeled extra dry.
Demi-sec: Sweeter still.
Doux: The sweetest sparkling option.

Label Lingo Lesson #2: Where’s It From?
Champagne: Sparkling wines from the Champagne region of France tend to be among the driest.
Crémant: Sparkling wines made in other parts of France; these are also reliably dry.
Cava: Spanish sparkling wines, typically dry and smoky.
Prosecco: The most common sparkling wine from Italy, made in the Veneto region. Often sweeter than cavas, Champagnes, and crémants.
California sparkling wine: Typically sweetish and approachable.

Label Lingo Lesson #3: What’s In It?
Blanc de blancs: Crisp, fresh sparkling wines made from white wine grapes.
Blanc de noirs: Richer, fuller wines made from red wine grapes (though the wine itself is still white).
Rosé: The fullest-flavor option, made from a variety of different grapes, with fruity, berry flavors and a pink hue.
NV: Means “nonvintage” and includes a blend of grapes harvested in different years; NV sparkling wines from a single producer tend to taste consistent from year to year.

Read more from Businessweek here.

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