Erica Landin

Location: Stockholm, AB

While working as a Biotech equities analyst, a divine Burgundy stopped me in my tracks and made me re-evaluate life. Today, I'm a full time wine writer. Passionate about small, quality producers, minimal intervention winemaking & sustainability in wine.

Top 10 champagnes (and sparkling wines) for New Years

There is no better beverage at New Years Eve than champagne. (Actually, I might claim there is no better beverage at any time of the year). The real stuff, from Champagne, France. Here are a few favorites that won't only get your juices flowing pre-dinner, but that can also handle a bit of food. Believe it or not, champagne is an excellent food wine! I have also thrown in a few good sparkling wines to pop at midnight. Because, let's be honest here, at that point there aren't many of us who can still tell (or care about) the difference...

Presented in a rough order from simpler bubblies to ultimate luxury.

Happy New Years!

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Pelorus Cloudy Bay Spakling (NV)
Comments: I'm glad to see the Moët&Chandon group still has some go to them. This sparkling wine from NZ can compete with basic champagnes, with lovely acidity, fine bubbles and some yeasty notes. The price in the US (or UK) is nearly twice as much a my second homeland Sweden so it's not as crazy a value as over there but still better than most Californian sparkling wines at the same price point.
Average price: $23.66 from 1 store
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2 Ferrari Trento Brut (2005)
Comments: A racy Italian sparkler made with second fermentation in the bottle. I'm not a big prosecco fan, but this isn't prosecco (though it's also from northern Italy). It's serious bubbles at a decent price!
Average price: $19.99 from 1 store
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3 Langlois-Château Crémant de Loire (1912)
Comments: The Loire has many really good sparkling wines to offer - the quality ones always go under the "cremant" description. Langlois is owned by champagne house Bollinger and has the know-how and terroir to make one of the best sparkling wines I know under 20 bucks. Creamy, yeasty with ripe apple aromas. It's not champagne, but it's pretty darn lovely.
Average price: $17.55 from 1 store
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4 Peters Pierre Brut Reserve (NV)
Comments: Rodolphe Peters, Pierre's grandson, is doing a great job with this little grower house in Le Mesnil (where Krug has their prime holdings). Great chardonnay territory. I'd go for the Magnum which holds declassified vintage wine without the increase in price. It's an insider tip among wine writers. His Cuvée les Chetillons is a fantastic cuvee in a slightly higher price category.
Average price: $56.95 from 1 store
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5 Launois Pere et Fils Champagne Blanc de Blancs (2002)
Comments: A good, nutty Blanc de Blancs from a small grower producer. Usually available at an attractive price - Try K&L Merchants. Rich, buttery chardonnay with fine bubbles in a cool old-school bottle.
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6 Bollinger Special Cuvee Champagne France ϼ Champagne ϼ (NV)
Comments: The champagne of James Bond (the movie version) never disappoints. Full bodied, generous, with gorgeous mousse. Works with food or canapés. It's the BMW of champagne - reliable, sexy, luxurious with perfection in the detail.
Average price: $59.95 from 11 stores
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7 Henri Giraud Grand Cru Hommage Francois Hemart France (NV)
Comments: One of those wines I don't want to spit out, even in the middle of a pro tasting. I just wanted to take the bottle (and a cute guy) off to a corner and DRINK! Delicious! Well balanced, a bit of body on the bones and lots of layers of yellow fruit. An attractive nose with touch of warm, yeasty nuttiness.
Previously available for $74.95
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8 Tarlant Champagne Qv Discobitch
Comments: A top champagne in a kitsch bottle. What's not to love? Don't let the bling fool you - this is a declassified Cuvée Louis (or at least was, last time I checked, though rumors say it's changing). Lovely ripe fruit but with a searing acidity.
Previously available for $59.99
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9 Krug 'Grande Cuvee' Brut (NV)
Comments: What is there to say? Krug is Krug. Remí Krug has been quoted as saying "if the Grande Cuvée is a basic non-vintage champagne then Rolls Royce is just a car." Or something similar. So true. It may seem overpowering for some people (it's not a bubbly you drink without noticing), but few champagnes evoke such a longing gaze in a wine lover. Rich, complex, nutty and fabulous.
Average price: $192.40 from 18 stores
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10 Jacques Selosse Substance (NV)
Comments: There is champagne, and then there is Selosse. Anselme, the shy philosopher-winemaker who has made the brand a cult wine, doesn't like rules. He tries things his own way. Substance is made in a solera (like sherry) and gets a lot of depth. It's food champagne and, should you get a hold of a bottle, it might even need to be decanted. A classic beauty will take a bit of time and coaxing to shed her layers.
Average price: $235.53 from 1 store
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