The old year is winding down, and if you are hosting a New Year’s Even gathering, you’ll want a strategy for embracing that bubbly tradition. Champagne — whether the genuine article from the protected Champagne region in France or a tasty imitation from America where winemakers ignore European naming rules — is not the only festive sparkling wine treat on the block this year. If you must have it, and you opt for top quality, you may find the prices daunting for your party budget.
For the last several years, Prosecco has been gaining attention as the delightful and affordable bubbly alternative. The quality to dollar ratio is much kinder for this ethereal sparkling wine made in Italy, just miles north of Venice. Genuine French Champagne of similar drinkability is likely to run at least three times more per bottle. There is no reason not to seek out Prosecco to proudly serve your guests.
But you don’t have to give up on France! Crémant is a French sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne method outside the small traditional Champagne region. Often, you will find excellent versions in other great French winemaking regions. For example, Crémant de Bourgogne is produced in the Burgundy wine growing region and then treated traditionally, just as authentic Champagne.
Turn to the historic winemaking of Spain for another bubbly gem. Cava sparkles just as brightly in your flute during the countdown to the New Year, and the better examples are world-class affordable luxuries.
Finally, consider Sekt. The German white wine tradition that gives us Gewürztraminer and Riesling still wines also brings the sparkling bubbly for special events.
Whichever sparkling wine alternative you choose, drink it with those you love and have a very happy new year.