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New Year's Eve is all about giving the ol' razzle dazzle: Sparkling garb, sparkling balls dropping, sparkling wine.
For the latter, many opt to toast to the New Year - and the subjective lyrics of "Auld Lang Syne" - with capital-C Champagne.
Daniel Lobsenz, the sommelier at Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washington DC, is one such appreciator of the razzle and dazzle of a bottle of bubbly - but it's a love-hate relationship, especially because Champagne tastes so darn exquisite.
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So, the New Year's Eve shindig hosting has fallen to you. Your guests will likely expect Champagne or some analogue thereof. Now is not the time to defy expectation. Here are a few tips for getting a banging bottle of bubbly without breaking the bank.
Bubbles, bubbles - no toil, no trouble
– If you wanna go big with the Dom Perignon or vintage Veuve, do that for the first glass. Raise a toast, make a fuss - then switch to the less expensive (but just as delicious stuff).
– Less expensive, you say? Oui. It needn't be capital-C Champagne, which to be labeled as such, must come from the Champagne region of France.
There's some smashing stuff out there to be sure - and a side effect of climate change may be that Champagne grapes are yielding their tastiest, earliest crops in ages. Master sommelier Richard Betts swears by Champagne Krug as the "pinnacle" and says "Their entry-level Krug M.V. Cuvée is rich, round, complex and a great partner to food, family and friends."