Friday, 22 December 2023  • Recipes,

Nothing says, "special occasion" quite like a bottle of sparkling wine! Festive and fun, sharing a bottle of bubbly is the perfect way to celebrate with friends and loved ones, whether it’s for a birthday, an anniversary, or to set the stage for the perfect party. New Year’s Eve is the ultimate champagne occasion, when people across the globe gear up for a night of dancing, celebration, and welcoming in the New Year to the sound of corks popping. When planning your own New Year’s Eve party, make sure to have plenty of sparkling wine on hand so you and your guests can ring in the new year in style! While many people use the word "Champagne", the best descriptor actually "sparkling wine." To officially be labeled as "Champagne", it must be produced in the Champagne region of France. There are plenty of other types of sparkling wine from around the world including Prosecco, Brut, and Cava, though. Wine connoisseurs know the differences between each type, but when it comes to sipping a glass at your next soiree, all that matters is that it’s cold and bubbly. Before you pop open the bubbles at your New Year’s Eve party, keep these pointers in mind about serving sparkling wine that will have you serving and sipping like a seasoned pro:

Before the Party
How to Serve Sparkling Wine – Serve your bubbles in style with proper Champagne flutes made especially for this sparkly beverage. Long and narrow in shape, Champagne flutes are designed to keep your drink fizzing away for longer instead of quickly falling flat the way it would in a traditional wine glass. Sparkling wine is best served icy cold, so keep an ice bucket on hand to delight your guests with the perfectly chilled glass. What You Need to Sparkle on New Year’s Eve – In addition to Champagne flutes and a freshly filled ice bucket, make sure to have some fun extras handy to make your party even more festive. A well-stocked bar has delicious mixers and cute garnishes for whipping up tasty champagne cocktails. Try dropping a slice of strawberry, pomegranate arils, or a sprig of lavender into each glass before you pour your sparkling wine. Or combine a few simple ingredients like crème de cassis to create a Kir Royale, or simple syrup, gin, and lemon juice for a French 75. These classic cocktails put a party-ready spin on your favorite bottle of bubbly, and will give your guests plenty of options for sipping as you count down to midnight.

Party Time
Create a Theme – Make your New Year’s Eve party even more memorable by keeping the bubbles flowing all night long! Ask your guests to dress to impress, giving the evening an upscale feel that’s worthy of your chic and cheerful beverage choice. Set the stage with candles and décor to suit the festive style and make your party a smashing success. Consider a theme for your party to get everyone in the mood, such as the Roaring 20’s or a Vegas-style casino night. Whatever theme you choose, make sure it has an elegant vibe that pairs perfectly with endless bottles of bubbly. Break Bread - Don’t let your guests go into the new year with an empty stomach. Choose party-worthy food that pairs well with sparkling wine and feels fancy and festive. Thinking hot and cold appetizers, gourmet flatbreads, sushi platters, charcuterie boards, or even a plated dinner of seafood, filet mignon, or any other special occasion feast that you can dream up for your family and friends. Dance the Night Away - The perfect party has a fun and upbeat playlist that will keep your guests dancing well past midnight. Create a music combination that’s as effervescent as your drinks by mixing the hottest new releases from your favorite artists, and classic party favorites that everyone can sing along to. Remember to raise a glass of sparkling wine and hit play on Auld Lang Syne at midnight for an authentic New Year’s Eve experience!

The After Party
What to do With Leftovers - As you celebrate New Year’s Eve, only open bottles of sparkling wine as needed so you don't end up with too many half-finished bottles at the end of the night. Once you pop a cork, it expands so you can't push it back in; however, you can purchase a Champagne stopper to seal your bottles. These let you keep open bottles of sparkling wine in the fridge for another day or two to keep the celebration going long after your guests have gone home. Make great use of leftovers by adding orange juice the next morning and enjoying a sparkling mimosa for a celebratory brunch. If you find yourself with sparkling wine that's lost its fizz, you can still benefit from the flavors by cooking with leftover wine. Store it in the fridge and use it to flavor a delicious dish on New Year’s Day. Open a fresh bottle to sip while you remember the fun of New Year’s Eve party and the glittering good time you shared with your guests on the most festive night of the whole year. All That Glitters – Popping the Cork on New Year’s Eve