Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
Though there are plenty of drinks that have had New Year’s connotations over the years—mead, beer, mulled wine, you name it—the bubbly stuff, i.e. Champagne or sparkling wine, is really the spot-on gift if you happen to be headed out to a party or three.
The thing is, wine with bubbles ranges wildly in price; a bottle of 1998 Krug Clos d’Ambonnay will set you back about $2,000, whereas a bottle of André Cold Duck (no vintage on that one, strangely enough) will damage your finances to the tune of $4.50 or so. So, to make life easier, especially in this last-minute-what-do-I-do moment, here are some suggestions.
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The irony of New Year’s resolutions is that typically, they don’t actually begin on January 1. Eat healthy. Drink less. Exercise more. All these popular resolutions make sense until we remember that New Year’s Eve is one of the biggest party nights of the year.
One way to start the New Year off right is by hosting a fabulous brunch, and regardless of your social calendar the night of, you can get a bulk of the work done before slipping into your favorite party dress and heading out for the night. Chef Anne Burrell, host of Food Network’s "Worst Cooks in America" and "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef," is here to help in the preparation of said delicious New Year’s Day brunch, despite any level of hangover.
Five Tips for New Year's Day Brunch: Anne Burrell