Haven’t got your bubbly for tonight? Meg at Dandelion (153 Franklin St) can help:
When I think of celebrations like New Year’s Eve, I think of sparkling wine and I’m in good company.
During WWII, Winston Churchill is famously quoted as saying “Remember, gentlemen, it’s not just France we are fighting for, it’s Champagne!”
And we can’t forget Brooklyn’s own Notorious B.I.G. lyrics in Juicy: “Birthdays was the worst days /Now we sip champagne when we thirst-ay”.
Here’s a crash course in sparkling wine to help you choose wisely:
But first! How can we avoid the champagne headache?!?
Meg says: “Hot Peppers!”
Cremant: Sparkling wines from regions in France outside of Champagne but made in the same method are called Cremant. Generally a better bargain than Champagne, many are made from the same varietals in the same way, but in regions less heralded. A versatile bunch, the sparkling Chenin Blancs from the Loire Valley are killer with oysters and the Cremant de Jura stands up with some of the richest Champagnes. $15-$32 - Magnums available!
Petillant Natural: A pet favorite of mine, “pet-nat’s” are sparkling wines fermented mostly in tank then bottled right before fermentation ends, creating a delightfully tiny bubble and often a fun, funky flavor commonly associated with natural winemaking. Ranging from bright white to cloudy red, pet-nats are often lower in alcohol and shorter in shelf life than other sparkling wines- so drink now, and drink often! $16-$24.
Italian Sparkling Wine: The generic name for sparklers from many regions in Italy is Spumante, and that generally refers to wines made in the traditional Champenoise method. Everyone is probably more familiar with the fun and easy Prosecco wines. Proseccos are made from the grape Giera in the Charmat method. It’s a less expensive, quicker way to make sparkling wine, which is why bottles of Prosecco are affordable options. Prosecco range from very dry to quite sweet, and can be found in both white and rose varieties. Some of the fruitier styles are amazing with spicy asian dishes, and rumor has it hot peppers help avoid a “champagne headache.” Our go-to, Beatrice, is one of the best selling bottles in the shop at $13!
Cava: Spanish sparkler hailing from the Catalan region, generally made from the grapes Macabeu, Perrellada, and Xarel-lo in the traditional champenoise method. Available in both white and rose varieties, Cava can be dry or sweet. Great with tapas, and a fraction of the price of Champagne. $13-$19.
Other: There are delicious sparkling wines from almost every wine-producing place in the world, but generally fewer rules and regulations organizing them into categories. In the US, bottles are generally labeled as “Sparkling Wine” and often denoted as being “Methode Traditional” if made in the style of Champagne or Cava, although I was recently served a bottle of “California Champagne” at a Korea-town Karaoke bar, a label that is actually illegal. We have bubbles from South Africa and New Mexico, two places you may not think to look to for your celebretory wine, but both are Champagne-style wines made with the same grapes, similar growing climates, and totally delicious, and both are under $20.
Champagne: A sparkling wine made in the small Champagne region of France following a specific set of guidelines set by the Institut national de l’origine et de la qualité. Champagne can be made from 100% Pinot Noir, 100% Pinot Meunier, or a mix of the two, known as a Blanc de Noirs, 100% Chardonnay, known as a Blanc de Blancs, or any combination of those three grapes resulting in both white and rose varieties. When any year’s grapes are especially good, Champagne will be made from a single harvest and labeled with the vintage. The best Champagnes have a persistent bubble and are the most well balanced- as “bready” as they are dry and citrusy. Champagne pairs with everything- the dryer styles are excellent with shellfish while some of the sweeter varieties, in my opinion, can’t be beat with cake. $40-$110
Whatever you choose this New Years Eve, I think the most important thing of all is who you’re drinking with. Cheers to good wine, good company, and a happy 2013!
Don’t you know that “yes” is the new “maybe”? Don’t worry about that lame houseparty you replied to on facebook, because Brooklyn is the new NYC and there are plenty of other things to do on New Year’s Eve!
Manhattan Inn (632 Manhattan Ave) is having a 3 course New Year’s Eve prix-fixe menu for $50.
Dinner will be from 6pm-11pm, and each meal comes with a complimentary glass of Prosecco. After dinner, DJ Eric (from Saturday’s weekly Romantically Uninvolved party) takes over for a dance party to ring in the new year. The full menu is below:
New Years Eve
Meal includes complimentary glass of Prosecco
Sweet Potato Bruschetta
Ricotta, Chili Vinegar, Nappa Cabbage
Radicchio, Fennel, Buttermilk Dressing
Black Sesame, Grapefruit, Sorrel
Fazio Farms Duck Breast
Butternut Squash, Bulgar, Cippolini Onions
Jamison Farms Lamb
Chestnut Cream, Sunchoke Chips, Horseradish Salt
Broccoli Rabe, Marjoram, Preserved Lemon
Pot de Creme
Chocolate Ganache with Sea Salt, Cranberry, Cinnamon Tuile
For reservations call 718-383-0885 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Beer Mixology Bar Opening @ One Stop Beer Shop (134 Kingsland Ave) 7-10pm, Small bites plus complimentary beer cocktails by Brooklyn Brewery, Original Sin Cider, The Original Moonshine, RSVP (at) 1-bsb.com
Free Bowling @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe) 12-2pm, Free Bowling, Free Shoes, RSVP
Mattison, DJ Ron Like Hell, Visuals, Scandalabra @ Zebulon (258 Wythe) 8pm-3am, A post X-mas/Pre New Year’s dance party with all the soul you’ll ever need, RSVP
• Rock n’ Roll Extravaganza @ The Muse (32D So. 1st) $5, Toby Driver, Totem, Manawi Thorn “odds are pretty good* this is going to be your last new years’ eve EVER, so you might as well rock out…rumors about surprise aerial performances are unconfirmed, B.Y.O.B. if you W.A.N.T., whatever else you had planned was lamer and more expensive so just accept it.” RSVP
• @ Manhattan Inn (632 Manhattan) $40 Prix Fixe Dinner while Smoking Billy Slater plays live piano then dance party with DJs Romantically Uninvolved
• @ The Richardson (451 Graham) noon-4am, serving food until 2am, get dressed up and come on down! big parties: reservations (at) therichrdsonnyc.com • Deer Tick & Friends @ Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe) 6pm, Show @ 7pm, Seating 1 – 7-10pm: $1,500; Seating 2 – 11pm-2am: $2500, All you can bowl, drink & eat, plus champagne, limit 10 per lane, more info
• @ Berry Park (4 Berry) No cover, $40 bottles of bubbly, DJs all night • Rebel Angel @ Matchless (557 Manhattan) 10pm, $10, A Weimar Cabaret New Year’s Eve Fete, featuring: Amour Obscur-Weimar Gypsy Punk, This Way to The Egress- Illuminated Freak Show Musical Notation, Plus Live Cabaret and Curiosities of Flesh by Laura Rebel Angel & Ruby Solitaire •Masquerade Party @ Huckleberry Bar (588 Grand) 8pm, No Cover, No Reservations, *Extra Special New Year’s Eve 2012 Cocktail Menu, Complimentary Hor’dourves, DJ Benny B!, Satellite Bar in the Garden with heat lamps, masks are strongly encouraged, RSVP • Velvet & ARKHAM @ Boulevard Tavern (579 Meeker) No Cover, 80′s new wave and goth, Times Square on the BIG SCREEN, FREE MUNCHIES ALL NIGHT, RSVP
• @ Greenpoint Heights (278 Nassau) DJ’s and dancing, and a free champagne toast at midnight
• @ Gutter (200 No.14th) $5, Performances by Fergus & Geronimo, The City Streets, NT, My Teenage Stride, RSVP
SUNDAY 1/1 – NEW YEAR’S DAY
• Brunch @ Habitat (988 Manhattan) 11:30-3, Prix Fixe
• Kripalu Yoga Class @ Usha Veda Yoga (1104 Manhattan) 3-4:30pm, donation based yoga, all proceeds go the Greenpoint Soup Kitchen & Food Pantry
Having a New Year’s Eve Party? Email greenpointers (at) gmail.com with details.