On New Year’s Eve champagne is the drink of choice, especially at midnight!
But why is that?
Perhaps it’s because December 31 is National Champagne Day!
Coincidence? Probably not!
Before we start imbibing, let’s explore a bit more about champagne, which is generally regarded as “the greatest sparkling wine in the world.”
And then let’s all celebrate, with a glass of New Year’s Eve champagne!
WHAT IS CHAMPAGNE?
In Food and Wine’s Wine 101: Champagne and Sparkling Wines, Madeline Triffon, a master sommelier states, “When customers come in and ask me for a champagne recommendation, one of the first things I ask is if they mean something that actually comes from champagne in France, or if they just mean a good sparkling wine.”
So true champagne originates from the Champagne region of France and is a blend of a variety of grapes.
IS CHAMPAGNE WINE?
The answer is “yes!”
While all champagne is sparkling wine, not all sparkling wines are champagne.
It reminds me of bourbon.
While all bourbons are whiskeys, not all whiskeys are bourbons.
They are also (obviously) not champagnes … !
WHAT MAKES A SPARKLING WINE A CHAMPAGNE?
Sparkling wines from the Champagne region are required to go through a process typically referred to as the méthode traditionnelle, loosely translated as “traditional method.”
While this labor-intensive process makes the sparkling wine even more grand, it also adds to the cost.
The traditional method involves two separate rounds of fermentation: one in a tank or barrel and a second in the bottle itself.
The in-bottle fermentation imbues the wine with its characteristically fine, persistent bubbles.
“In Champagne, the second in-bottle fermentation is followed by a minimum aging period of 15 months in contact with dead yeast cells,” states Gérard Liger-Belair, a professor of chemistry and a sparkling-wine researcher at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France.
“The yeasts release different compounds that modify the wine’s organoleptic properties, donating roundness and its characteristic aroma and flavor.”
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPARKLING WINE?
Food and Wine goes on to explain producers around the world also use the traditional method to make fine sparkling wines.
Each will have distinct characteristics such as flavor, texture, richness, and depth.
This is due to in large part to each location’s unique “terroir,” which refers to the soil, climate, and other place-specific elements that affect the qualities of its wines.
“Sparkling wines elaborated through the traditional method outside the Champagne region are representative of their own terroir, and may also taste wonderful,” Liger-Belair says.
He mentions Franciacorta in Italy as a good example.
WHAT IS A GOOD CHAMPAGNE FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE?
“If you like champagne but want something comparable for less money, you could look for sparkling wines made in the traditional method,” Triffon says.
“Crémant de Bourgogne is a no-brainer, and so is Cava.”
These wines, especially bottles toward the affordable end of the spectrum, may not have the creaminess or depth of champagne.
They also may not have its famously small and persistent bubbles.
But many are excellent, she states.
BEST NEW YEAR’S EVE CHAMPAGNE
These are some of our favorite champagnes.
And Matt and I will definitely be popping a bottle (or two) in celebration of the New Year and National Champagne Day.
While our go-to bubbly has traditionally been Veuve Cliquot, we have recently added 007’s favorite, Bollinger, into the mix.
Whatever bottle you choose on New Year’s Eve, the best way to chill champagne is to place the unopened bottle in an ice bucket, filled with ice and water to within one inch of the top.
ADD SOME FESTIVE TOUCHES TO YOUR CELEBRATION …
I stumbled upon these plates on a trip Matt and I took to Des Moines, Iowa.
The downtown area is home to one of the cutest home and gift boutiques I’ve ever seen, She.
The name is short for Sheila, who is the store’s proprietor.
Their wares are adorable.
I couldn’t resist purchasing these holiday dessert plates, which are perfect for our New Year’s Eve dinner!
“Shall we holiday?”
“We shall, darling!”
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QUICK AND EASY DECOR IDEAS FOR YOUR TABLE:
Simple gold trays can instantly add glamour to your tablescape.
It was an ideal choice to dress up these already beautiful cupcakes.
Black and gold balloons are another easy way to dress up any New Year’s Eve celebration.
You can even create your very own balloon drop … right in your living room!
An essential tool for this look is a balloon pump.
They’re an easy, festive touch that will serve a functional purpose at midnight.
SO, HOW MUCH CHAMPAGNE IS CONSUMED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE?
According to research, a whopping 360 million glasses of champagne are consumed on New Year’s Eve (and those statistics were for the pre-pandemic year of 2019).
So clearly, there’s no better day than this one to dedicate 24 glorious hours to all things bubbly.
Happy National Champagne Day! And Happy New Year as well!
If you’re looking for a fun NYE craft, check out my friend Amy’s blog and this cute DIY Wine Stopper!
Looking for other great DIY Holiday ideas? You’ll find lots of great inspiration in these posts:
Looking for additional ways to enjoy champagne? Check out this Fried Chicken and champagne pairing.
Did you utilize any of these ideas?
Share them on Instagram with the hashtag #makeeverydayanevent and tag @makeeverydayanevent.
If you have any questions or suggestions, contact us or leave a comment!