The end of 2016 is fast approaching and, traditionally, the transition between years is marked by many with the popping of something bubbly and festive. There is a great variety of wines (and non-wines) that fit the bill, so we set out to demystify what’s worth drinking at the stroke of midnight.
1) Prosecco – We have a number of Italian sparkling wines to choose from at Brewery Creek. Prosecco is often off-dry with notes of melon, pear and apple. It doesn’t have quite the same carbonation as champagne, but it tends to be less expensive and is delicious all the same. If you have an open bottle of Prosecco, give an Aperol Spritz a try: 2 parts Aperol to 3 parts Prosecco with a splash of soda.
2) Cava – This is a sparkling wine from the Catalonia region of Spain. It was formerly referred to as “Spanish Champagne,” however that is no longer allowed. There are definite similarities since it is made using the same process and is generally fairly dry. It is a great economical alternative to traditional Champagne. In a cocktail it does great in the classic Mimosa, which is 1 part sparkling wine and 1 part orange juice. The perfect New Year’s Day brunch option!
3) BC Bubbles – Venturi Schulze is making fantastic, traditional method bubbly from the Cowichan Valley. This wine has a crisp green apple flavor with a certain rustic note, great for saison drinkers. For a “Made in BC” Kir Royale try it with a splash of Odd Society Creme de Cassis.
4) Beer – Deus Brut des Flandres is as close as you can get to Champagne in a beer. This Belgian Golden Strong is first brewed and bottled in Belgium before being shipped to France. The beer is aged in the Champagne method on its yeast before being disgorged (removing yeast) and re-corked. It has a richer flavor than Champagne but with all the finesse.
5) Champagne – This is the tried and true festivity beverage and real Champagne is always worth the investment. You will still find the green apple and pear flavors of many sparkling wines, however there is also usually an extra layer of biscuity flavor and creamy mouthfeel. For the adventurous, try Prince Albert’s tribute drink, the Black Velvet, Champagne with an equal part float of dry stout (or Schwarzbier if making a Bismarck).
We hope this helps you to choose the perfect New Year’s bottle for your celebration.