American drinkers consume an estimated 360 million glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve. Of course, this is the best night of the year to open a bottle of beer. But let’s forget about quantity for a moment and focus on quality instead. After all, what’s the point in celebrating something so ordinary? Especially when there are so many great examples of affordable sparkling wine on the shelves at this very moment.
Today we’ll show you what some experts consider to be the best of them. These experts also happen to be judges for the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championship. The competition, which will be held for the 12th time this year, is the premier international competition of its kind, comprised of a cadre of distinguished sparkling wine specialists from around the world. After two weeks of judging earlier this year, CSWWC announced his 2023 results to the world in September.
The prestigious title of “Supreme World Champion” was bestowed on the 2008 vintage of producer Piper-Heidsieck’s Millésime Rare Champagne.And this was not the only Any It’s bottled, but specifically in magnum format. As any experienced sommelier will tell you, 1.5 liter bottles offer superior aging conditions compared to standard 750 milliliter bottles. This is because the overall size of the container is large, but the neck is not. Therefore, less air is contained inside, minimizing aeration and oxidation.
Now that we understand the general basics of the bottle, let’s talk about why this particular rendition is so admirable. Millesime is always a lively juice, with a particularly effervescent character and a distinctly refreshing character. It usually smells of pear and marzipan. However, a sensational growing season in 2008 concentrated the scent of spring in the glass. Fresh flowers, orange blossom, and a tangy citrus thread that lingers well on the palate.
There’s also a very subtle salty flavor that emerges by the end of each sip. Not only does it make you want to reach for more, but it also makes you want to combine it with things from the sea. Think oyster or Dover sole. The degree of complexity and structure exemplified here makes it a good value at $209 per bottle. Keep in mind that this is twice the amount of liquid you would put in an oversized glass.
The complete list of 2023 Champagne and Sparkling Wine Championship winners can be found here.
But if you’re less interested in medals and more in tried-and-true icons, my pro recommendation is to pick up a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque Brut 2013 to celebrate New Year’s Eve is. A particularly exciting vintage for the heritage brand, with rich orchard fruit on the nose and dried vanilla on the palate. And it’s breathtaking inside and out, flaunting the instantly recognizable white anemone bottle art first designed by Emile Gallé in 1902.
At $229 for a 750ml bottle, it’s not cheap. But there is no doubt that irreplaceable memories will be made when we say goodbye in 2023 and hello in 2024. No matter what is in the glass, I wish you and your person a Happy New Year.