Tip Of The Day: What to drink this New Year’s Eve. I like champagne (or "sparkling wines" for those wines produced outside of the Champagne region of France) as much as the next party girl, but it can get pricey for the good stuff. Think beyond France, and you’ll find many lovely, bubbly options. My fave? Prosecco – Italy’s version of sparkling wine, prices range from $10 to $20 per bottle.
Tip For Tomorrow: "You’ve got a pretty little mouth" or, How to have a pretty, kiss-proof pucker on New Year’s Eve.
Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: Back in college, my roommate Zan and I like to get our pre-party drink on with an inexpensive (cheap) bottle of champagne (sparkling wine). Now, drinking champagne in college may seem a bit incongruous, but to us it made perfect, economical sense. Instant buzz? Check. Good tasting? Check. Happy feelings when finished? Check.
We made deep forays into the world of cheap sparkling wines, and deemed Korbel – sold back then in Iowa for $10 a bottle – to be the best. Cook’s and Andre should only be used to christen a boat, and then, only a boat you hate.
My tastes have changed as I have aged, and now I prefer Domain Chandon – made in Napa and sold at most wine stores. However, it’s hard (albeit possible) to find it for under $20 a bottle. Look for sales and stock up. Sparkling wine can be stored up to four years in a cool, dark area like your basement or bomb shelter.
A cheaper, and just as good if not better tasting, option is Prosecco. Prosecco is Italy’s answer to sparkling wine, and it is darned drinkable. There are many makers of Prosecco to choose from, so I’ll let Tom Hyland be your guide: http://www.wineloverspage.com/italwineguide/prosecco.phtml
Notice that most of the bottles are $20 or less? Nice. Print off this list and bring it to your local wine store. If they don’t have at least ONE of these for sale, perhaps you need to re-think your choice of wine purveyors.
In the Twin Cities, everybody knows that the BEST place to buy wine (or liquor, or cheese, or pate) is Surdyk’s. They sell five different brands of Prosecco, and all are under $20 a bottle. So you can buy more! And invite me over! I make a fabulous party guest, just ask me.
Reader’s Tip: If Italy ain’t your bag, baby, try this sparkling wine option – Freixenet, a major bottler of Cava wine from Spain. Cava is Spain’s version of champagne, and Freixenet is the easiest-to-find Cava state-side. Plus, it comes in different varieties (three at Surdyk’s), none of which top out over $12, so it's cheap (my favorite thing). Plus number two, it is VERY drinkable. Thank you to El Jefe for the tip!