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Best Champagne and Sparkling Wines for Ringing in the New Year


You have decided to host a small [or rather large] gathering. The menu is set, groceries purchased, but you feel a wave of anxiety settling in as you debate over the Champagne.

Champagne is not an American staple. Most of us drink a couple of bottles maybe once or twice a year. The French put us to shame in this category. Any time of the year [or day] is a good time to have Champagne, is their mantra.

What do you do? Not all Champagnes are created equal and not all that bubbles is Champagne, but you can offer a delicious drink without breaking the bank or offending the palate.

Best American Sparkling Whites

Ste Michelle Brut, CaliforniaBetween $8 and $11 a bottle, this sparkling wine [made in a champagne method] is very pleasing. Small bubbles and a pleasant aroma, perfect for making a Kir Royale.

Domaine Chandon Rose, California –  Offered between $13 -$17 a bottle, also good is brut and noir.


Martini & Rossi Spumante, Italy – Bubbly, sweet and perfect for dessert. $12-$14

Freixenet, Cordon Negro, Spain – $7-8 a bottle, this Spanish sparkling wine is perfect any time of the day and a great choice to toast in the New Year.


Veuve Clicquot, Brut – $37 a bottle, perfectly priced and great for serving and toasting. Definitely a great buy to stay within budget.

Perrier Jouet, Brut – $30, another great buy and goes well with spicy Hors d’Å“uvres.

Moet, Demi Sec – $40 a bottle, this tried and true favorite is great for toasting the night away.

Pulling Out All The Stops – When budget is of no concern and you are ready to throw the bash of a lifetime, consider the following to be the time-tested classics you can count on…

Krug, Grande Cuvée $125-130 per bottle

Ruinart, Blanc de Blancs – $50 per bottle

Veuve Clicquot, Grand Dame – $120-125 per bottle

Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon – $130 per bottle

Remember, to keep it classic, champagne should not be uncorked loudly and spilled all over the place. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to serve champagne in a flute. In some cases, a champagne flute can actually take away from the experience. Serve all champagnes and sparkling white wines cold and in tulip-shaped glasses to allow the aromas to develop and hit the nose as your guests are sipping away.