How to Make New Year’s Sparkle with Great Wine?

ON CBC’s Alberta at Noon, we chat about why Champagne is the wine of celebration, not just to welcome the new year, but also to celebrate life’s other highlights.

Listen to more chats about sparkling wines.

Why is sparkling the most food-friendly wine on the planet?

How did savvy product placement make champagne a luxury brand?

How to best chill sparkling wine quickly?

 

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Natalie MacLean, editor of Canada’s largest wine review site, recommends her favourite wines for New Year’s Eve and Day:

Veuve Clicquot Non-Vintage Champagne

Champagne A.C., France

This classic, well-known Champagne is a traditional blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes. Lime zest, green apple and freshly baked bread aromas on the nose, with a terrific persistence of bubbles on the palate. Try the ultra-shabby chic combo here between French Champagne and a bucket of KFC chicken. Why wait for New Year’s or a wedding before you pop open bubbly when it’s so tasty? The bonus is that it’s just about the best partner for fried food on the planet: it’s mouth-watering acidity and bubbles wash away the fat, making you want more of course. Champagne food pairings: potato chips, fried food, sushi, seafood, vegetarian dishes.

Alcohol: 12%
Sweetness: Dry
Drink: 2014‐2018

91/100

$70

Product: 563338

Louis Roederer Brut Premier Champagne

Champagne, France

Astoundingly great Champagne, toasty, creamy and rich like a wealthy low-maintenance boyfriend. The best non-vintage champagne in the liquor store — none other can compete with this quality. From the makers of Cristal (see rap songs).

Alcohol: 12%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Drink: 2014‐2018

92/100

$70

Product: 268771

Blue Mountain Brut

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada

This crisp and refreshing sparkling wine is a blend of 61% Pinot Noir, 36% Chardonnay and 3% Pinot Gris, and made in the Méthode Traditionnelle and is designated BC VQA. It spent two years resting on its lees to give it richness and creaminess that challenges the best of N.V. Champagnes. A zesty, refreshing bubbly with vibrant green apple notes. Clean finish. Great price. It offers low alcohol but lots of taste and a persistent mousse. What’s not to love about one of Canada’s best sparkling wines? Food pairings: seafood.

Alcohol: 13%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Drink: 2013‐2016

93/100

$30

Product: 1073450

Sperling Vineyards Sparkling Brut 2008

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia V.Q.A., Canada

I am coveting this wine and fearful I won’t be able to get a steady supply. It’s a spectacular bubbly and a bargain price. Toasty, apple goodness. Oh my. Sparkling Brut food pairings: starters to steak, Nigri Sushi, oysters.

Alcohol: 11.3%
Sweetness: Medium Dry
Drink: 2009‐2015

92/100

$40

Product: 764189

Henry of Pelham Estate Winery Cuvee Catharine Rose Brut

Niagara Escarpment, Ontario V.Q.A., Canada

A gorgeous rose with lovely notes of field strawberries. Toasty, refreshing, crisp and dry. Ever so festive with its pale pink hue. Cheers! Rose Brut food pairings: salmon caviar with sour cream; Malpeque oysters with a hint of lemon.

Alcohol: 12%
Sweetness: Dry
Drink: 2013‐2015

92/100

$30

LCBO: 217505

La Marca Prosecco

Veneto D.O.C., Italy

An excellent price for this zesty and refreshing Italian sparkling wine! Lime-grapefruit notes with a clean, dry finish. Crisp Meyer lemon on the finish. Terrific as an aperitif or companion to shellfish. The La Marca Prosecco is made from Glera grapes and offers great value in the sparkling wine category. Pair with shellfish and fried foods. Prosecco food pairings: salad, cheese, poultry, pasta with cheese-based sauce, seafood.

Alcohol: 11%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Drink: 2014‐2016

88/100

$18

LCBO:  740323

Segura Viudas Brut Reserva Cava

Penedes, Spain

Superb value! Toasty, earthy, dry and refreshing sparkling wine that’s a fraction of the cost of Champagne. Lovely yeasty notes on the nose with some toasted apple and almond on the finish. Stock up for your parties and weddings now.

Alcohol: 12%
Sweetness: Extra Dry
Drink: 2014‐2017

89/100

$15

Product: 746962

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