Serve any or all of these sparkling wines at your New Year’s Eve soiree, and watch the smiles continue until past midnight.
Pop. Fizz. Cheers!
Bubbly wine is a no-brainer to serve at New Year’s Eve, but with so many new sparkling wines on the market, which do you choose? And why are there so many different terms out there to describe bubbly wines?
Sparkling Wine 101
Before we jump into my picks for 2015, here’s a handy little sparkling wine glossary to help you out with all of these terms you see. They may seem interchangeable, but for the most part, they are not.
Sparkling Wine is a term used to describe any bubbly wine produced outside of Champagne region in Northern France. Traditional sparkling wines are made with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes.
Champagne refers to sparkling wines made specifically from the Champagne region in northern France.
Cava Blend is a term used to describe the composition of the iconic sparkling wines of Spain, made with native grapes like Macabeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada. Its name comes not from a place, grape variety or winemaking technique, but from the stone cellars (cavas) in which the wine is matured.
Prosecco is a term used to describe a sparkling wine produced in Italy, mostly in the Veneto region, made from the native grape Glera. With Prosecco, secondary fermentation takes place in steel enamel-covered tanks rather than in the individual bottles.
Urban Bliss Picks for New Year’s Eve Wines
Here are some excellent sparkling wines to serve at New Year’s Eve. In fact, we’ll be serving some of these at our own annual New Year’s Day open house party to ring in 2016!
Evolution Sparkling Wine ($18)
Made in the traditional method of true Champagne wines, sparkling wines that are designated as “méthod champenoise” on the label undergo a secondary fermentation inside the bottle. Look for this designation when buying American sparkling wines, and you’ll usually find an excellent bottle. Sokol Blosser’s Evolution Sparkling Wine is my favorite affordable sparkling wine that is widely distributed. In the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find this wine sold at your neighborhood Safeway. I purchased a few bottles recently for just a few cents over $14 each!
Argyle Blanc de Blanc ($50)
Argyle Winery is my Go To when it comes to special occasion brut wines. In my opinion, they make some of the best Oregon sparkling wines. They’ve formed an amazing, long-standing partnership with Knudsen Vineyards and this Blanc de Blanc features grapes from Julia Lee’s Block, named after the co-founder of Knudsen Vineyards. This is a top-of-the-line sparkling wine, my friends.
Argyle Vintage Brut ($28)
The 2011 pictured above is actually sold out, but the 2012 is just as delicious. If you aren’t able to shell out the $50 for the Argyle Blanc de Blanc, then go for the Argyle Vintage Brut. The 2012 vintage is ideal for the holidays, brimming with baked apple, pear, and ginger notes.
($12 for 750 ml bottles; $3 for mini bottles)
You’ve likely seen the black bottle bubbly at your local grocery store or wine shop. While there are a few different cavas produced by Freixenet, the Cordon Negro Brut is the most popular. It is the #1 imported wine in the world, and is very affordable at just $12 per bottle. And how ADORABLE are the minis??! The mini bottles are a mere $3 each, and would be so beautiful served at your New Year’s Eve soiree. This sparkling wine has a nice bright tone throughout, and is full of the classic apples, pears, and ginger notes.
Wycliff Brut ($6)
Okay, so here’s the deal with this sparkling wine: Wycliff Brut is produced by Gallo Family Wines, and is widely used in restaurants, bars, and hotels. It’s an inexpensive wine that tastes pretty darn fantastic for the price: you’ll usually find it for between $6-8. I would serve this as a base for your most creative New Year’s Eve cocktails and mimosas, but it is also enjoyable on its own.
Ménage à Trois Prosecco ($13)
This Prosecco is crisp and clean, with just enough bubbles without going overboard. I included the Menage a Trois Prosecco mainly because it’s a tasty one that I know you can find no matter where you live in the United States – it’s widely distributed, inexpensive, and tastes great! This is excellent gussied up a bit with some fresh cranberries and orange zest – trust me, I know!
Soter Vineyards Brut Rosé ($65)
I included the Soter Vineyards Brut Rosé sparkling wine in my top 20 holiday wine picks this year as well, but I really can’t say enough good things about this wine. At $65, it’s the priciest option on the list this year, but it’s definitely worth every penny. Pick up a bottle and share it with the one(s) you love the most.
Raptor Ridge Brut Rosé ($63)
Raptor Ridge is an Oregon winery that makes a fabulous lineup of Pinot Noir wines, and their 2011 Brut Rosé is a winner as well. At $63 a bottle, it’s definitely a special occasion bubbly – and well worth it. It’s cheesy to say this, but this truly is like summer in a glass: sweet strawberries (but not too sweet!), raspberries, wild cherry. It’s fabulous with food but sips just fine on its own.
These are my personal fave picks representing a variety of sparkling wines at different price points. Which sparkling wine featured here appeals the most to you?