With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, I wanted to focus this month on Champagne – my favorite! If you’ve had a killer year and really want to go all out to celebrate the new decade, the best Champagne I think I have ever had was at a tasting in NYC recently – Lanson Vintage Collection 1976. It is only sold as a Magnum (1.5L) at $900 a bottle. Yes, you read that right. It’s so incredibly rich and will knock your socks off but if that’s not in your budget (is it in anyone’s really?), my favorite Champagnes are Jacques Selosse Initial Grand Cru and Krug Grand Cuvée. I tend to be most drawn to the more biscuit/brioche, savory flavors that these both have to offer so considering that and at a still formidable $210 & $165 a bottle, they’re not for everyone.

For mid-range options, I am partial to Delamotte Blanc de Blancs (~$45) and after a visit to the vineyards years ago, Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noir ($20), which is closer to a sparkling rose with creamy berry notes.

For a low budget sparkler that still offers quality, I suggest going with a Cava. Cava is made in the Traditional Method like Champagne (though Cava is made mainly from macabeo, parellada, and xarel-lo grapes while Champagne is made from chardonnay, pinot noir, and/or pinot meunier) with the second fermentation in the bottle, so I find that it maintains that crisp dryness that Prosecco often misses the mark on. At only $7-9 a bottle, Jaume Serra Cristalino is very drinkable and easy to find.