Sung to celebrate the stroke of midnight which begins each New Year, Robert Burns’ poem is a New Year’s staple, and so is the tradition of toasting to the hour with Champagne, or other sparkling wines. Are you hosting a New Year’s Eve party? If so, what do you plan to toast with? Here’s some basic info to help you out!
Champagne and sparkling wines are categorized (and, thus, labeled) according to their sugar levels. “Brut” is probably the most popular seller. It's dry, crisp, and pairs well with lots of finger foods. “Extra Brut” is especially dry. If your wine is labeled “Extra Dry” it's actually (oddly enough) a bit sweeter than the common “Brut” which makes it a terrific aperitif. This might be a wine to consider toasting with, especially if it's being served on its own. “Demi-sec” wine is very sweet, and often benefits from being served with fruit like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and desserts.
The wine you choose will probably also be labeled as “vintage” or “non-vintage” (often abbreviated as “NV” on the label.) Sparkling vintage wines come from a single year, while non-vintage ones are blends from many different years. While vintage Champagne is usually pricier, the majority of sparkling wines are NV.
Always remember that sparkling wines are meant to be served chilled (i.e. usually between 42°F to 50°F), so don’t let your bottles sit out at room temperature before you pop their corks! To achieve just the right serving temperature, a wine storage cabinet like the Le Cache Mission 1400 wine cabinet, or the Vinotheque Alegria 240 NS cabinet, is far more precise than putting bottles of Champagne in your fridge. Cheers to your successful party!
And very happy new year to all our blog readers, customers and fans!