Tips to Toast in the New Year with Champagne!

The New Year is just around the corner and here are some helpful tips to ring in the New Year with nice glass of bubbly Champagne!

Pouring sparkling wine doesn’t have to be complicated. First off, the best thing you can do for your bubbly is to keep it extremely cold. The colder it is, the more you are preserving the bubbles and the less messy it will be to open and pour.

Don’t over think how you hold the bottle. Sommeliers in fancy restaurants might show off by pouring sparkling wine while holding the bottle with their thumb inside the punt (the depression in the bottom of the bottle), but I wouldn’t recommend trying this unless you have strong thumbs or lots of practice.

To avoid overflowing, don’t try to fill the glass all at once. Pour an ounce or two, wait a few seconds for the froth to settle, then continue pouring. No need to fill the glass to the brim — aim for the two-thirds-full mark. Speaking of preserving bubbles, I’ve read the results of a study that suggests if you pour the bubbly straight down the center of the glass, you might lose more carbonation than if you tilt the glass and pour down the side. If someone offers to refill your glass, it’s OK to offer the glass with a tilt.

Here are a few of our recommended Sparklers to Toast in the New Year!

Under $10:


Korbel Brut
Hawaii’s favorite bottle-fermented champagne, Korbel Brut is light-tasting and crisp with a balanced medium-dry finish.
Perfect to pair with Chicken or seafood dishes, and ono-licious with our local Asian foods. Also, a wonderful choice with fruit and mild cheese.


Vivande Bubbly Pink Moscato
Visually stimulating, the Mourvedre grape is responsible for the attractive rose color. Flavors of the Muscat Blanc include apricot and peach, with floral notes of gardenia and honeysuckle. This off-dry wine is very refreshing, with a crisp balance of acidity and lively bubbles. The simple elegance of Vivande Bubbly Pink Moscato makes it the perfect all-around beverage.

Under $13:

Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut
One of the very best values in California sparklers, super quality at very affordable cost. Delicate pear and floral notes backed by toasty almond. Fun tastes of lively citrus, toast and apple flavors overlaid with persistent effervescence, a creamy mid-palate and toasty finish.
This Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut also earned a 90 Point rating:
“A wonderfully drinkable sparkling wine that appeals immediately for its balanced texture and rich flavors.” – Wine Enthusiast, December 15, 2010


Piper Sonoma Brut
In my opinion, this is our best value choice. Pale gold color with tiny bubbles, Piper Sonoma Brut has delicate aromas of ripe apple, toast and peach. Crisp citrus flavors with hint of strawberries and vanilla smoke. Dry, fresh, bright with a long, elegant finish. Delicious, and very very affordable.

$39 and up

Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label
It is very hard to beat Veuve Clicquot! Cliquot is always on my wish list! Veuve Clicquot’s signature brut non-vintage is loved the world over for its crisp, full flavors, consistent quality and celebratory yellow label. Pinot Noir provides the structure that is so typically Clicquot, while a touch of Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay adds the elegance and finesse essential in a perfectly balanced wine. Tightly knit, this offers subtle notes of white peach, anise, biscuit and kumquat. The refined finish echoes a smoky note, earning an esteemed 92 Point rating from Wine Spectator!

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial
Better known to us Hawaii folks as “White Star,” this champagne is simply delicious. A fine effervescence, buttery without being rich, and tropically warm with a lime blossom attack. The palate is delicate well-balanced, creamy and rich, unlimited fragrances filling the tongue with highlights and leaving behind a sense of harmony, mellowness. A medium-bodied Champagne with generous fruit and toasted flavors. Joyous wines, with a generous and seductive personality.
Moet et Chandon is still today, and more than ever before, the symbol of pleasure, grandeur and pure celebration.

Taittinger Brut La Francaise
A fine, very pure style of Champagne. Has hints of toast and citrus fruits that come together in a style that is almost the essence of Champagne. Crisp, rich and complex.”This Champagne is a blend of some 30 Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyards, respectively 40% and 60% of the total, from several harvests of perfectly ripened grapes. The most expensive grape in champagne is Chardonnay. Hints of marzipan, lightly charred toast add richness, then discover flavors of poached pear, lemon curd and black currant. Earned a notable 91 Point rating from both Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast.

$299 and up


Brignac Brut Ace of Spades
Okay, okay…we can dream, can’t we? It’s the New Year, so why not drink what Jay-Z and J-Lo drinks? Well okay, maybe only for New Year’s…maybe? This Champagne is truly one of the finest Champagnes produced. A rich and racy wine, complex and full bodied, and deliciously creamy.

Whichever champagne you decide on, just remember that most of all – it is just really good adult grape juice…so have fun, drink responsibly, and enjoy the bubbles!

Cheers to a Happy New Year!