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.
Among the great divides in the world - red states vs. blue states, vegetarians vs. carnivores, the Yankees vs., well, pretty much the world - there is also the great split amongst wine with bubbles. Essentially: There is Champagne, and then there is everything else.
Champagne is the victim of its own success when it comes to names, much like Xerox or Kleenex. You can say, for instance, “I need to blow my nose, please pass me a Kleenex,” and people will no more bat an eye than if you’d asked for a glass of water. Say, “I need to blow my nose, please pass me a nasal tissue,” and they’ll say something like, “Ew!”
Ditto Champagne. Ask for Champagne, and people will happily pass you a glass of whatever kind of wine with bubbles is at hand. Ask for a glass of sparkling wine, and you sound odd. They will say, “Um, perhaps you’d like a nasal tissue to go with that?”
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.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
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
Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.
Join 8,171 other followers