There's no better way to see in the New Year than with a glass of bubbly. Nuria Stylianou suggests four of the best
Every year New Year's Eve is approached with the very best of intentions – the fervent hope that an evening spent filled with your favourite people and an abundance of joy and celebration will bring a similar continuous flow for the year to come. Admittedly a lot of pressure to put onto one night and to ease some of this pressure, the food and wine on offer really ought to be a a guaranteed hit for the taste buds, with flavours that satisfy and wines that delight.
Whether you’re heading out to a party, hosting one, or simply cosying up at home, our selection of Champagnes have more than enough charisma to keep the evening at an ever-expansive level of optimism. And if you plan on watching the fireworks from a crowded bridge in the damp cold, any one of these wines will help you welcome in the New Year with style and possibly make some new friends for 2017.
Pol Roger Blanc de Blancs 2008
This is such a special fizz, it’s hard to decide whether to start or end the evening with it. You’d be tempted to drink this early on for its deliciously refreshing, clean finish. The 2008 vintage, made entirely from Chardonnay, has been aged for seven years to give succulent notes of toasted nuts, brioche, honey blossom, grapefruit and focused citrus acidity. Your taste buds will awaken at once in anticipation of a glam evening ahead. Enjoy as an aperitif with light fish, or crab paté. Or if you’re planning to pair this with something more substantial, it’s also an ideal match for monkfish or John Dory.
Eric Rodez Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru
From the small medieval village of Ambonnay, this Grand Cru site has an average altitude of 130m, allowing the vines to escape the damaging spring frosts and produce some of the most sought-after Pinot Noir fruit. This golden-coloured Blanc de Noirs by Eric Rodez displays all the perks, with berries, cherries and a hint of dried fruit complementing the citrus fruit. Full-bodied and mature with a rounded sweetness, this is will happily see you through a main course.
Fleury Fleur de L'Europe Brut
Established in 1904, Champagne Fleury was the first estate to become fully certified in biodynamic practices, in 1989. This zeitgeist of a wine is rich and intense. A fine mousse with flavours of fleshy stone fruit, baked apple and focused acidity is followed by a wonderfully nutty, dry, minerally finish. Complex and continually intriguing, this would cut through the creaminess of buttered lobster or scallops like a dream, or prove the perfect partner for a simple platter of cheese and crackers.
Ruinart Rosé NV
Although the Ruinart rosé has enough structure to pair with an abundance of dishes, from sushi and salmon to prosciutto or roast veal, the idea of popping this open at midnight is very tempting. At that time of night, you probably won’t be tucking into any hugely substantial food – but a glass of this pomegranate-pink fizz alongside a plate of macarons or rich chocolate truffles will be an appropriate offering to the gods of good fortune as you welcome in the New Year.