free run juice

fizzmas picks for new year’s!

FullSizeRender-4Hopefully you’ve had your fair share of fizz this holiday season. But if you haven’t, you’ve got one more night to unleash those corks from their cages and into your glass (and then continue for the next 364 days…)

The conundrum of New Year’s Eve is always what to pop. Hanging with a small group? Definitely good ones. Headed to a big party? You’ll probably only get one sip, and no one will be paying much attention to whatever’s in their flute (or coupe, or wine glass if you’re like me). So, what do you serve and what do you save?


IMG_4820Antech Blanquette de Limoux Grande Reserve: Limoux is in the Languedoc area in the south of France, and their sparkling wines are made mostly from the local Mauzac grape (called “blanquette” because of the white coating on its leaves). They’re full of green apple and lots of bubbles, excellent with apps. ($15.99)

amami bosco di gicaDomaine Saint-Rémy Crémant d’Alsace: We all know how I feel about Crémant (really, really good). Saint-Rémy is all organic and biodynamic, all Chardonnay, and all sorts of refreshing goodness. Bonus is these gold dots on the label – feels very New Year’s, right? ($23)

hhky-GWhS22CW9AxY-U0tg_375x500Adami “Bosco di Gica” Brut Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Superiore: Prosecco is such a great party popper. It’s peachy, easy, delicious, and you can easily find inexpensive ones. This one’s even better. ($18)

fizzmas fact: Valdobbiadene is generally a better region and produces higher quality Prosecco.  

save (for yourself)

IMG_4817Charles Heidsieck Rosé: Not as well-known as many other Champagnes, Charles Heidsieck is sometimes called the “sommelier secret” because of its great quality. Something about the light strawberry color always makes for a super festive way to kick off a night! ($80)

IMG_4815Drappier Carte d’Or: I loooove Champagnes made with a lot of Pinot Noir. (If they’re all Pinot Noir, they’re called Blancs de Noirs.) Drappier is 75% Pinot Noir, 15% Chardonnay, and 10% Pinot Meunier so you get a lot of fleshy red apple and even a hint of red plum. So delicious. ($48)

barone pizzini franciacortaBarone Pizzini Franciacorta Satèn 2011: Franciacorta is basically Italian Champagne. This one is all Chardonnay and has less fruitiness to it than Prosecco, but more than Champagne. ($45)

IMG_4819Pol Roger 2008: This one’s all Chardonnay – Blanc de Blancs – and has more yellow than red apple. This is also one of the 6 Champagnes that has a Royal Warrant. Dude, if it’s good enough for the Queen, it’s good enough for you. ($140)

fizzmas fact: bubbly with a year on it is called vintage Champagne. It’s made from grapes all picked in one year, as opposed to a blend of years, and is only done when the season was an excellent one. So vintage Champagnes are often better and more expensive.  

IMG_4816Laurent Perrier 2006: LP is one of my favorites – often a little more limey than the usual brioche-ness in other Champagnes, it goes really well with food. They don’t often declare a vintage, but this 2006 is half Chardonnay, half Pinot Noir and 100% delicious. ($65)

Happy New Year! Tag me with what you’re popping before & after midnight @grapefriend.



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