NYE Sparkling Wine Guide

As we gather with family and friends for yuletide cheer, don’t forget to pick up some great sparkling wine for your NYE celebration!

But, where do you start? Walking into a wine store these days can be downright intimidating!  Do you pick a Champagne, a Cremant, a Cava or what about a Prosecco? There are so many options from around the world to choose from, it can be simply overwhelming.

Fear not, I am here to help make your next purchase a simple one. Let’s begin with the dryness scale for sparkling wine. I often hear people say, “I don’t care for sparkling because it’s too sweet or it’s too dry”.  This guide will help you make a more educated decision and pick something that’s best suited for your palate.

Extra Brut/Grand Brut/Brut Zero – This label is going to be the driest end of the spectrum.  The following scale goes in order from the next driest level to the very sweetest bubbly.

  • Brut
  • Extra Dry
  • Dry
  • Sec
  • Demi-Sec
  • Doux

If you are new to sparkling wines, go for a dry or extra dry, If you like your wines a little sweeter, go with a demi-sec.

Here’s a helpful hint, the wine must be made in Champagne, France to be referred to as a Champagne, otherwise it’s sparkling wine.  Sparkling wine made in the “Champagne or Traditional” method requires a more laborious process and the price tag will reflect this.

Check out my interview with Alan Tardi, author of Champagne Uncorked and the U.S. Ambassador for Prosecco-Superiore as we discuss some of the fabulous wines from this region.  Alan was a recent guest on my weekly radio show, Crystal Palate’s Wine Country. Stream the show live every Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on WCHV.com throughout Virginia.

Here are some amazing recommendations at all different price points to help you celebrate your NYE in style!

Value Bubbly: (Under $25) 

  • Montelliana Prosecco, Veneto, Italy $12 
  • Domaine du Margalleau Vouvray, Demi-Sec, Loire Valley, France – $15 
  • Bocelli Prosecco, Veneto, Italy $15
  • Montelliana Prosecco, Veneto, Italy $12 
  • Gruet Demi-Sec, Albuquerque, New Mexico – $16
  • Segura Viudas Cava, Brut Reserva Heredad, Spain – $20 

A Little Splurge(Under $50)

  • Thibaut-Jannison, Blanc de Chardonnay, Charlottesville, Virginia – $30
  • Schramsberg Blanc de Noirs, Napa, California – $30 
  • J Brut Rose, Sonoma, California – $32 
  • Ferrari Brut Rose, Trentino, Italy – $30
  • Perrier Jouet, Grand Brut, Champagne, France  – $38
  • Domaine Carneros Brut Rose, Napa, California – $38 
  • Schramsberg Brut Rose, Napa, California – $42 
  • Gatinois Grand Cru Brut, Champagne, France $45 

Indulge: (Under $75)

  • Taittinger Brut, Reims, Champagne, France $50 
  • Bollinger Brut, Special Cuvee, Champagne, France $58 
  • Moet & Chandon Nectar Rose, Champagne, France $60 
  • Pommery Brut, NV, Champagne, France – $70