New Year’s Eve has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean it’s another 365 days before you can enjoy a glass of sparkling wine.
Sure, sparkling wine is usually associated with celebrations, and there are few celebrations bigger than the one that begins Dec. 31 and lasts as far into Jan. 1 as you can handle. But there are plenty of other causes to celebrate, and if you can find one, why not commemorate the occasion with a toast?
Here’s a crash course on the most common sparkling wines and a few suggestions for delicious food pairings.
Description: Champagne is the best-known variety of sparkling wine; many people simply refer to all sparkling wines as Champagne, though technically, only wine made in the French region of the same name is considered true Champagne.
Cheese: Brie Appetizer: Deviled eggs Entrée: Pizza Dessert: Tiramisu
Description: Cava is Spain’s version of sparkling wine. It’s similar to Champagne in some ways, though the grape varieties are different and it’s often more affordable than traditional Champagne.
Cheese: Parmesan Appetizer: Fried calamari Entrée: Quiche Lorraine Dessert: Custard
Description: Like Champagne, true Prosecco can only be made in one specific location: the Veneto region of Italy. It’s a dry sparkling wine that is often best enjoyed soon after bottling, rather than after an aging process.
Cheese: Asiago Appetizer: Shrimp cocktail Entrée: Pasta with cream sauce Dessert: Fruit pie
American Sparkling Wines
Description: Unlike some European countries, the U.S. is not known for a specific type of sparkling wine. Many of the most prominent varieties come from California, though, and of these, blanc de blancs – made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes – are among the most popular.
Cheese: Gruyere Appetizer: Fried spring rolls Entrée: Crab cakes Dessert: Apple cobbler