Hopefully, you are the type of wine enthusiast who, knowing the joys of effervescence, sips sparkling wine throughout the year—without bothering to wait for a special occasion. But during the holiday season, just about everyone is popping corks, especially on New Year’s Eve.
For most adherents to the Gregorian calendar, December 31 is practically synonymous with Champagne. Hailing from the region of France of the same name, these wines can run the gamut from expensive and boring to expensive and engaging. A. Margaine Brut Rosé ($48, Bacchus Importers Ltd.) manages to be the latter—pricey enough to consider for a special occasion, but not horrifyingly dear like some of its peers. Bursting with notes of ripe cherry, violets, and even a hint of chocolate, this is the sort of thrilling pink bubbly I would begin every meal with—if I only were Warren Buffet.
Whether you have many thirsts to slake and little coin, or your friends appreciate a good value, consider serving Conde de Subirats Cava Brut ($15, Elite Wines). I was immediately seduced by this Spanish beauty’s aromas—pear, Key lime, and talcum. Lively and attractive on the palate, the wine simply dazzles with freshness and vivacity. Add it to the list of delicious bubblies to keep on hand all the time.
Maybe you’d like to experience some of the depth and richness of Champagne, but don’t want it to be all cheap and cheerful like Cava? Split the difference and go for Domaine de Montbourgeau Crémant du Jura Brut ($25, Potomac Selections). Hailing from the Alpine region of France near Switzerland and Germany, this beauty is an earthy, mouth-filling, serious wine. Lemony citrus notes almost take a back seat to the reminiscences of black truffle and walnuts. Its bracing acidity is just the thing for washing down vast numbers of oysters, and even a little caviar.