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FEED YOUR FACE: Bubbly New Year’s Drinks

By Dr Jessica Wu

Whether you’re attending the New Year’s Eve party of the year or planning to watch the ball drop from the comfort of your couch, it’s time to bust open the bubbly and toast the New Year. However, not everyone can afford to pop the corks of Cristal, Krug, and Dom Pérignon the way rap artists and movie stars do, so here are some great bottles with prices to match any budget.

Champagne. If you want the real stuff, it has to come from the Champagne region of France. A good bottle of champagne will run you between $50 and $150 – less, if you get it on sale, and more, if you’re willing to splurge. Some of my favorites are: Piper-Heidsieck Brut Cuvee ($45); 2002 Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin ($70), and Bollinger Rose ($90).

Bubbly on a Budget. There are many other delicious dry sparkling wines that are often sold at half the price of real French Champagne. Consider giving your wallet a break and trying a bottle of Californian, Italian, Spanish, or German sparkling wines.

· Californian Sparkling Wines – $5 to $90: Yes, we make them here too! Consider celebrating global, but drinking local this New Year’s Eve with sparkling wines from Sonoma, Napa, or elsewhere in California.

· Italian Sparkling Wines – $7 to $40: Italy’s answer to champagne is sparkling wine from Franciacorta in the Lombardy region. However, a popular (and cheaper) alternative is Prosecco from the Veneto region or Asti sparklers from Piedmont.

· Spanish Sparkling Wines – $8 to $25: Cava is Spain’s “champagne,” but it’s made with Spanish grapes (mostly). And unlike champagne, Cavas are not suitable for aging.

· German Sparkling Wines $18 to $35: German sparklers are known as Sekt, but look for Deutscher Sekt, which is made with German-grown grapes. The best ones are made with Riesling.

Cheers!

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