Its the last day of 2008! Au Revoir old year. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am ready for a New Year. In preparing for New Year’s Eve, bubbly is very much on my mind. And by bubbly, I mean Champagne. At only 90 calories a glass, Champagne helps me prepare for my coming New Year’s diet and usher out the old year in style. Today’s quest is to find some wonderful Champagne for our New Year’s festivities at an affordable price. I have two affordable favorites to recommend from California to The Recessionista’s readers. My top picks are Tattinger Champagne from Domaine Carneros and Thorton Champagnes from the Thorton Winery in Temecula, California. I must confess, my top pick is the Domaine Carneros Tattinger Champagne from Sonoma, CA. I’ve visited this winery and spent many a happy afternoon sitting on their patio overlooking the vineyards sampling their Pinot Noirs and their sparkling wine. If you can’t journey to the Champagne region of France, Domaine Carneros provides a cheap & cheerful alternative. The winery & tasting rooms are designed to look like a grand French chateau. Their vintage Brut Cuvee is listed on their website for $26.00 and has been rated 92 points by wine spectator. However, I have found it for less than $26.00 at Trader Joe’s grocery in California. If you’re in the US, check your local Trader Joe’s for it.
My other affordable US pick is the Thorton Winery’s Sparkling Wine from Temecula, CA. The Thorton sparkling wines are a cheap & cheerful choice ranging from $15.00 to $38.00. These wines are available from the winery of course, but also at many grocery stores.
Of course, for many connoisseurs, there is only one source of fine Champagne, and that is France! After all, Champagne takes its name from a province in eastern France, near Paris. Leon Chandon offered many great Champagnes from Reims, France.
After its initial invention a french monk named Dom Pierre Pérignon introduced various production and bottling improvements for Champagne. Today, its fair to say that Moet Chandon and Dom Perignon remain the jewels of the Champagne world. I heard yesterday on NPR that Champagne sales in 2008 are down, 4%. This had lead to sales on Champagne in wine stores all over the world. So check your local wine store today for prices on these two. NV Veuve Clicquot is available at many grocers, wine stores and Trader’s Joes in the US for under $40.00 US. Korbel Champagne provides another affordable option for your consideration.
Two final resources are worth checking out if you’re shopping around today for a good deal:
1) The News & Observer’s article on Bubbly at a Bargain featuring 10 Affordable Picks (choices offered include sparkling wines from Italy, Spain, Australia and California)
2) The New York Times article on Champagne: How Low Can You Go
So Happy NEW YEAR dear readers! I’m sending you all a Virtual Glass of Bubbly and wishing you a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR’s!