Steamboat Sips: Tips on how to pick bottles of bubbly for New Year’s Eve celebrations
December 29, 2017
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — There's something special about popping a bottle of Champagne on New Year's Eve. But finding the right bottle can be overwhelming.
So Explore turned to Glenn Wiedemer, champagne and sparkling wine expert at Central Park Liquor, for his advice on picking the perfect bottle of bubbly for the upcoming holiday festivities.
Champagne or sparkling wine?
Sparkling wines are not only more affordable than the fancier options, but the labels are chic enough to look way pricier than they are — from brut rosés to crisp Proseccos, like the Italian, La Marca, there’s plenty of options.
What to look for?
There are a couple different styles of sparkling wine from all over world, explained Wiedemer.
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"Prosecco is the fastest growing category within the sparkling wines category and is made from a single grape called Glera from Italy fermented in a tank and then transferred to the bottle (Charmont transfer method), which is part of what gives it that really clean, crisp, fruit-forward style that makes it really easy to drink," Wiedemer said.
Another option is Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, made like Champagne but with different grapes that are indigenous to that area. It's also cheaper than Champagne and pairs well with seafood dishes.
“And then there’s Champagne, which is the best known of all sparkling wines, produced form grapes grown in the Champagne region of France,” Wiedemer explained.
Three major tasting categories:
• Brut – Driest of the sparkling wines
• Extra dry
"I know it sounds counter intuitive but in the history of wine, it started off as a really sweet wine then they came out with extra dry variation, which is about 15 to 25 grams of sugar per liter that was the driest at the time,” Wiedemer said. “Then, they came out with brut, which can be no more than 15 grams of sugar per liter."
• Brut Rosé
"This is typically a dry wine either made with pinot noir or has red grapes blended in to give it a darker color but is still dry," Wiedemer said. "A lot of people think that because it's pink that it will be sweet but that's not the case. It's actually similar to any other brut that's made with chardonnay. It's just made with a pinot noir grape."
Give these a try:
Wiedemer suggests these to impress all of your dinner guests this holiday season.
• Taittinger Rosé
• Rose Grand Cortage Lucien Albrechi
• Mumm Pinot Noir Rosé
• Demaine Carneros by Tattinger
• La Marca
• Borgo Magrado
• Taittinger Brut La Francaise