3 great Champagnes for New Year’s Eve, according to an expert

A Champagne toast

Nothing says 'celebration' quite like a champagne toast

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It’s rarely a bad time for bubbly, but never a better time than New Year’s Eve.

And by bubbly here I mean champagne, from the French region of the same name. Though champagne is made through a traditional method— the méthode champenoise—the finished product comes in a range of profiles. To help you prepare for your celebration, I’ve selected three of my favorites, at different price points and for different palates. And if champagne cocktails are more to your liking, check out some of my favorite recipes here.

Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label, $69.00 

A large Champagne house with a rich history, Veuve Clicquot started producing bubbly before the outbreak of the Napoleonic wars. It was founded in 1772, by the textile merchant, Phillippe Clicquot, whose widowed daughter-in-law later took over the operation. This is my go-to on most occasions. Light gold in color (much like Veueve Clicquot’s distinctive label), it has hints of orchard fruits and dried fig, along with a yeasty minerality. 

Billecart-Salmon Cuvee Nicolas Francois Brut, $169 

The first time I tasted this, I was quite upset I had not known about it sooner. Such a special cuvée (that’s French for blend), and absolutely delicious. Golden yellow with finely chiseled bubbles. Complex and refreshing on the nose with fine, with intense notes of fruits and nuts. 

Krug Brut Blanc de Noirs Clos d’Ambonnay, $3,399.99 

I had the pleasure of tasting the 2006 at the 2017 Presidents Cup and can confirm that it is spectacular. A powerful champagne, with notes of quince, lime, honey and saffron, it is priced in the stratosphere for a reason. If I had $4,000 to burn, this would be great kindling.

(Shaun Lewis is a chef and sommelier who has created unique craft cocktails and culinary experiences for PGA Tour events and the Presidents Cup)

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