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The Essential Bottles Of Champagne (And Sparkling Wine) For Every Stage Of Your NYE Party

It’s that time of year when the bubbles start flowing. A great bottle of champagne or sparkling wine is a must for the upcoming New Year’s Eve festivities as we say goodbye to the 2010s and welcome a brand new decade. Which means it’s also the best time of year to explore the nuances of sparkling wine before the dreaded January recovery season kicks in.

Here are a couple of terms to keep in mind before we dive in. “Brut” is dry. “Demi-sec” or “Sec” is medium-sweet and sweet respectively.”Cuvee” denotes a blend of grapes in the bottle. Champagne is from the Champagne region of France only — it’s still just a sparkling wine though. Prosecco is from Italy. Cava is from Spain. Sekt is from Germany. There are a million other terms, but these few should get you by.

The five bottles of Champagne and sparkling wine below are widely available, classic, and mostly affordable. These are party bottles that’ll wow your guests and help get them in the mood to revel all night long. Happy New Year!

The “Welcome To The Party” Flute — Sonoma-Cutrer Grand Cuvée Late Disgorge 2014 (CA)

The Bubbles:

Sonoma-Cutrer bottles some of the finest white sparkling wine on this side of the pond. Their Grand Cuvée is a blend of 60 percent Chardonnay and 40 percent Pinot Noir harvested from the winemaker’s Sonoma County Vine Hill and Owsley Ranch Vineyards. The grapes were picked two to four weeks earlier than a standard wine, assuring the high acidity and dryness of the bubbles. The use of the French technique of “late disgorged” simply means the wine took longer to age in its secondary fermentation as dead yeast cells were removed and the juice was re-dosed, making this a more nuanced sip.

Tasting Notes:

Apple and pear orchards, heavy with ripe fruit, greet you. Freshly baked brioche, cracked hazelnuts, Meyer lemons, and a subtle minerality balance throughout as the palate draws on the apples and nuts. Finally, a mild kick of fresh strawberries kicks in with a bright acidity that brings about the ray of California sunshine.

The Bottom line:

This is a bright and welcoming glass of bubbles that’ll open up the palate and help your guests settle in.

Buy Here for $43.00

The “Break Out The Cheese” Flute — Albino Armani Sparkling Rose (Italy)

The Bubbles:

This Italian sparkler comes from Italy’s premier sparkling wine region, Veneto, just outside of Venice in the hill-country leading up to the Alps. The wine is a “spumante” Prosecco — meaning it’s fully fizzy and dry. Armani’s Rose is made from a blend of Pinot Nero and Chardonnay grapes grown on the slopes of the Dolomites.

Tasting Notes:

Wildflowers and fruit orchards dominate the opening of this glass. Raspberries, cranberries, peaches, and apricots all dance on the palate. The end is dry with a clear sense of tart and semi-sweet fruits.

The Bottom line:

This is a great bottle for a great price and the perfect aperitif to pair with snacks.

Buy Here for $15.99

The “Game-Time” Flute — Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut (France)

The Bubbles:

This is a stonecold classic Champagne. It’s distinctive yet completely affordable for the quality of the bubbles. The wine is a blend of largely Pinot Nero (30 to 40 percent), Pinot Meunier (30 to 40 percent), and Chardonnay (20 to 30 percent). The balance of these wines brings about a clear, dry sparkler that’s sure to go down easily as the night winds along.

Tasting Notes:

Bouquets of freshly cut flowers and fruit orchards mingle with a clear citrus note. A minerality from the French terroir arrives and mixes with the fresh flowers and hints of nuts. The sip ends dry as the flowers fade and the citrus lingers.

The Bottom line:

This is a very drinkable sparkling wine that feels sophisticated and all grown up. Buy a case and go nuts.

Buy Here for $32.97

The “Countdown” Flute — Dom Perignon 2008 (France)

The Bubbles:

This is the “go big or go home” moment of any great NYE party. So go BIG. Dom Perignon 2008 is the Vintage champers you should be able to grab from any liquor store right now. The 2008 Vintage is considered a “miracle” year — since the skies in Champagne were unseasonably cloudy and the temperature was low for much of the growing season. Then, as the harvest started, the temperatures rose and the skies cleared, creating the perfect grape for making Dom P.

Tasting Notes:

Stone fruits, white flowers in full bloom, and citrus greet you with hints of aniseeds and fresh sprigs of mint as a wisp of spice and wood dance in the background. The sip continues into a wide-range of bright florals, sharp citrus acidity, dry Champagne yeast, notes of oak, and a distant echo of smoke.

The Bottom line:

This is expensive. But, hey, it’s the last night of a decade — and the first moments of a new decade. Ring it in like a boss.

Buy Here for $144.97

“It’s Party Time” Bubbles — Jacqueline Leonne Brut Can (NM)

The Bubbles:

You’re likely drunk now. So, switch over to affordable bubbles from the can. Everyone will be happy to oblige at this point. This can from New Mexico is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wine is dialed in enough to be very drinkable while still having enough nuance to keep things interesting.

Tasting Notes:

The wine opens with clear notes of an apple and pear orchard with hints of lemony citrus. Bready biscuits, roasted nuts, and a hint of spice mingle in the taste. The end is dry, fruity, and mildly fizzy.

The Bottom line:

This is a quaffable can of bubbly to get your crew through the rest of the night of partying, dancing, games, food, and sex. They can also take cans with them as they file out into the streets.

Buy Here for $3.99 (per can)

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