The holiday season is fast approaching, which means the consumption of bubbly is about to skyrocket – an average of 360 million glasses of champagne and sparkling wine are quaffed each New Year’s Eve.
Champagne and Prosecco will no doubt make up the majority of sales, but there are so many more options when it comes to toasting the start of a new year. We’ve gathered some of our favourites when it comes to party wine – some conventional, some more unexpected – to help you celebrate like a true connoisseur.
It’s not all about the bubbly
Most of us focus on what we’ll be drinking when the clock strikes midnight, but what about those wines that will be accompanying you in the final moments of the year? They’re helping you round out the year in style, so it’s worth giving them some thought. If you’re hosting – or attending – a dinner party on the big night, we’ve got some ideas for you.
The indulgent dinner party wine
If you’re in for an indulgent night of rich flavours and gamey meats, there’s no better companion than a good quality right bank Bordeaux. The combination is a tried-and-true classic. As it’s New Years Eve, look for a Grand Cru. After all, It’s a special night!
Our 2013 Château Le Chatelet Grand Cru Classé from Saint-Emilion is a great example of a characteristically Merlot-heavy wine from the region. The soft tannins and plummy, black cherry flavours of the Merlot grapes are balanced with Cabernet Franc, which brings a spiciness that helps the wine stand up to the heaviest flavours you can throw at it.
Not everyone will be looking to fill their boots on the night. For those of you planning a lighter dinner or having friends over for canapés and drinks before the bells, an exciting white wine could be the right way to go.
If you’re looking to change some minds and have some fun with wine on the night, try a dry Riesling. They may protest at first, but choose a bottle with the right acidity to balance Riesling’s natural sweetness and you’ll win people over. It’s a fun, new experience for many and a great party wine. Take our word for it, your guests will enter the next year with a new favourite.
It’s a bit about the bubbly
You didn’t think we’d leave out the sparkle, did you? Champagne is the obvious choice when the countdown begins, with prosecco posing a serious challenge to its throne. However, we’re here to tell you that it’s not just a two horse race when it comes to sparkling party wine.
English sparkling wine is one of the industry’s latest success stories. The last decade or so has seen the British wine scene boom, with hot summers resulting in some bottles that have been mistaken for top-tier champagnes by expert tasters.
One of the producers that fooled the professionals is the aptly named Nyetimber, an estate with vineyards skirting the south coast of England. We’ve got their sparkling rosé, which would make a great partner for New Year’s celebrations. It’s creamy and round, with unusual hints of lavender, making it a great choice for those tired of drinking sparkling white wines on special occasions.
For those that can’t get enough of sparkling white wine, we’ve got something that we consider ‘the perfect alternative to overpriced, underwhelming champagne.’ The 2014 Fürst von Metternich Riesling is made using the same ‘traditional method’ as Champagne, and comes in a glorious, showy, kitsch bottle that screams New Year’s Eve.
2014 Metternich Riesling sparkling wineShiny and sparkling£27.00 Buy now
The perfect alternative to overpriced, underwhelming Champagne. This 2014 vintage Riesling sparkling wine is made the same way, tastes better, has more heritage and costs less.
For auld lang syne
Raise a cup of kindness, but make sure it’s full of some fantastic, exciting wine to round out your year the right way. Whatever you’re drinking this New Year’s Eve, we hope it’s a wine to remember!