December 24, 2019
As we enter a new decade, many of us will be popping bottles of bubbly to celebrate.
If you're throwing a New Year's Eve party, let us help you take the guesswork out of what Champagne to serve – and what to serve it in – so you can impress your guests.
You'll enter the new year as the host with the most, which is a pretty great way to start off 2020.
We looked to experts at Fine Wine & Good Spirits for tips on picking sparkling wines and found out why different flutes are used for different varieties.
Read on for a handy guide to buying and serving bubbly.
The first thing to know is that sparkling wine has a sweetness scale, so make sure to look at the bottle's label before putting it in your basket.
• Brut Nature – Bone-dry
• Extra-Brut – Bone-dry with a touch of sweetness
• Brut – Dry with a touch of sweetness
• Extra-Sec – Dry with fruity notes
• Sec – Slightly dry, fruity and sweet
• Demi-Sec – Sweet (pairs well with desserts and cheeses)
• Doux – Sweet (pairs well with desserts)
Also good to know, Champagne, the wine, is named after the Champagne region of France. Only products from there can be labeled with "Champagne." You should expect to pay $40 or more for a good, entry-level Champagne.
Prosecco is another sparkling wine you've probably tasted, seen or heard of before. It's made in Italy. You can pay under $20 for a good, entry-level prosecco.
Now, as for what to serve your sparkling wine in, you'll need specific glassware for the best experience. The shape of the glass enhances both the taste and fizz.
• Flute – Ideal for dry varieties, this style preserves the most bubbles (use for crémant, cava)
• Tulip – Ideal for fruity varieties, the wider tulip shape allows aromatics to collect in the glass (use for prosecco, sparkling rosé)
• Wide Tulip – Ideal for finer, aged varieties, the wider style collects flavors that come from aging (use for vintage Champagne)
• Coupe – Popular in the '30s, this shape allows the bubbles to disperse, making the wine taste softer and fruiter (use for demi-sec crémant)
But if all you have are plastic cups or coffee mugs to pour your bubbly in, don't worry. You can still raise those at midnight to the start of a wonderful new year.