Bubblies for any budget
Storme Wood, wine director and somellier at of Vero Midtown
Its bubbly time! Whether youre willing to shell out for one of the priciest bottles around or want to keep bubbly costs down, Storme Wood, wine director and sommelier at Vero Midtown, has suggestions.
The highly celebrated Champagne label simply connotes a sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wines from other countries such as Proseccos from Italy and Cavas from Spain can be just as good and often carry a much smaller price tag and better value.
Champagnes can only be made from three varieties of grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. In other countries, there are no restrictions and sparkling-wine makers can experiment with many types of grapes.For a splurge:
If you dont mind spending hundreds, Wood suggests Perrier-Jouet. Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne RosÃ© is my absolute favorite, she said of the Champagne, which starts around $175, depending on the vintage.
Their Blanc de Blancs Fleur de Champagne is out of this world too. Many vintages of these Perrier-Jouet bottles retail upwards of $350.
For thrifty tippling:
If you were hoping to spend Hamiltons rather than Franklins, there are plenty of sparkling wines from regions other than Champagne.
Wood suggests Italys Bottega Petalo Il Vino dellAmore, made of 100% Moscato grapes. The grapes are grown in an area with a lot of wild roses, so the wine has a really pretty formal aroma, and peach and apple flavors, she said. It retails around $14.
From Spain, she suggests dAbbatis Cava, which is made entirely of one variety of grape: Parellada. Its the polar opposite of the Petalo, which is decadent and luxurious. The dabbatis Cava is bone-dry, almost chalky, she said. It retails around $15.
For New Years Day brunch:
Dont be fooled by the misconception that rosÃ©s are too sweet. I always tell people not to equate rosÃ©s with white zinfandels. RosÃ©s are often more flavorful than white ones, said Wood.
I love them for brunch because they are very versatile and food-friendly. In particular, Wood suggests Gosset RosÃ© Brut (which retails around $90 a bottle).
Wood suggests serving dry Champagnes or sparkling wines with creamy dishes such as Eggs Benedict and sweeter Champagnes for dishes such as French toast and berries.
When making mimosas, opt for something not too sweet or too dry. Prosecco is a good way to go, she says. Its nice and light and easy to drink.
Recipe: Gelee Shot (an upscale version of the Jello shot)
Heat a simple syrup (made from equal parts sugar and water) until thickened; turn off the heat. Add 1 1/2 quarts Champagne and 13 gelatin sheets and stir frequently until the gelatin is dissolved. Divide among 24 small containers we recommend using something lovely such as demitasse or espresso cups. Sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds in each cup and place in the refrigerator to set. Cheers!
Created by Chris Siversen, the executive chef at Bridgewaters and Twenty Four Fifth.