The presents have been opened and the feast has been devoured. You treated your guests to warmed mugs of mulled wine and everyone feels full, happy and sated. Even though you might feel all is done don’t forget next weekend is the final Celebration of the year. New Year’s Eve and Day are the final hurrah’s of an amazing year. Your family may have added members through marriage or new babies. Children graduated school, couples shared anniversaries, birthdays were made into parties and a whole host of other memorable moments dotted the landscape of 2011 so it would not do to end this amazing year without a toast of thanks and hope for the year just beginning.
The only question is what drink to pick for the big toast? Champagne is the traditional answer and is always delicious. To be called Champagne the wine must be produced in the Champagne region of France. Other regions of Europe, the US and more refer to their bubbly as Cava, Preseco, Spumante, or Sparkling Wine. Your decision for your toast is determined only by what you like and can afford. There are a lot of tasty and budget conscious choices to make the moment really special:
Riondo Preseco – This is a sparkling wine from Italy. It is light bodied, dry and fruity with great bubbles. At $10.00-12.00 per bottle this is not only really tasty it will make the budget feel good too. Reviewers at cheapwinepairings.com say, “When it comes to finding bubbly wine at bargain prices, Prosecco can’t be beat.” They rate Riondo Presco high on the taste meter and even better on price.
Martini and Rossi Asti Spumante – This sparkling wine is almost as classic as Champagne. This sparkler hails from Northern Italy. It is a bolder wine than the Riondo. It is very floral on the nose and sweet and fruity on the tongue. It is a little higher in price at $15.00 on average but it really dresses up any occasion.
Conde de Caralt Cava Brut – Cava is the Spanish moniker for sparkling wine. This one comes from Cataluna Spain. It is a light bodied wine with lots of bubbles. It has a mild aroma of citrus zest and green apple. The flavor matches the nose with just a touch of toast. abcwinereviews.com declares, “Cavas make a great alternative to (arguably) over-priced and over-rated champagnes, and this one fits the bill nicely.” Conde de Caralt Cava is a great option for summer sipping as well as making the big toast this Saturday night. At $9.00 a bottle you might want to pick up a couple of bottles to keep on hand for those unexpected celebrations.
Laurent Perrier Champagne – For those who want the real deal, founder of Gulp! Food and Libations, Coreen Gottschalk, recommends this light body champagne. This bubbly wine has a floral aroma with a hint of green apple. It has a citrusy, slightly mineral taste. It is crisp and bright and fresh. At $30.00 or so a bottle, this is the one to have as a splurge without breaking the bank.
While any one of these choices will make your New Year toast delicious, remember, it is the sentiment that counts. So let’s raise our glass: Here’s to the year gone by and the new one beginning. May you have more laughter, love and health in the 2012 than in 2011 and may your days be full and bright!
Happy New Year Everybody.