Bring on the bubbly! How to ring in 2015 with the right champagne
Even though they didn’t quite pull off a World Series win, plenty of champagne corks flew in Kansas City when the Royals made it within reach of the title in October.
So it’s no surprise to Jim Coley, wine director of Gomer’s Fine Wine and Spirits, that it’s been a good year for bubbly in Kansas City.
In honor of the New Year, Coley and other oenophiles would first like to point out one common misconception: Just because it sparkles, doesn’t mean it’s champagne.
“Many people are confused by this,” he says. “True champagne, made in a region of France, tends to be a bit more expensive.”
That means if you want to toast with champagne, you’ll be spending at least $30 a bottle. “Most will be in the $40 and $50 range, though they can reach the hundreds,” he says.
“A fine champagne should stand alone,” says Coley, who will likely be toasting the New Year in with anything by Krug, his favorite. “An $8 Cava will work fine for a mimosa.”
If a mimosa sounds more like a breakfast drink than a way to welcome in the New Year, consider a drink like Death in the Afternoon, he says. Created by none other than Hemingway himself, the cocktail is made up of absinthe and sparkling wine.
Caitlin Corcoran, owner of Ca Va in Kansas City, says a champagne flight is a great way to figure out what varieties of sparkling wines and champagnes you love.
“When guests come in, I might not remember their name, but I remember which wines they liked,” she says with a laugh.
She offers up a recipe that will help you toast in the New Year:
- 1 ounce Jameson
- 1/2 ounce yellow Chartreuse
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
- Build in a flute glass.
- Top with 3 ounces of sparkling wine, Cava preferred.
- Garnish with a lemon peel.
Epicurious.com supplies this drink for Death in the Afternoon. Simply pour 3 tablespoons of absinthe into a champagne flute. Add ½ cup to ¾ cup champagne until a milky cloud appears and serve. Just remember, more than one or two of these drinks, and your New Year’s Day will be less than happy!