by Winebounty Team| Dec 26, 2020

With wrapping paper in the recycling bin and kids temporarily occupied with new toys, it’s time to open a bottle and think ahead to New Year’s Eve.  If you’re like many, you’re ordering wine through the Internet and there isn’t much time left.

To aid your search (and let you get back to sipping sooner!), here are a few great bottles 94+ points, ranging between $20-$80.

When it comes to serving, don’t forget sparkling wines should be served ice cold, between 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit.  If your short for time, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes prior to serving.  It should then go on ice once you pour the first round.  Having a sparkling wine stopper handy is also great to keep in the fizz.

While a fluted glass is elegant, who cares about elegance this year.  Let’s face it, you’re not getting dressed to go out and impress.  Lounge gear and Netflix (or HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+ . . . you get the picture) is all the rage.  Rather than waste a great Champagne (or Crémant) with a skinny flute that won’t get your nose in the glass to smell all those yummy notes of apple, pear, fresh baked bread, brioche, citrus, honey, strawberry, almond, etc. . . opt for a big glass.  I am a huge advocate for universal glasses.  They are my go-to for everything, especially sparkling wines.  Here are my favorites:

Lat but note least, we would be remiss if we did not give the traditional public service announcement:  The goal is to burp the cork, not POP it!  We don’t want you shooting your eye out, kid! 

Step 1: Remove the Foil

While most sparkling wines will have a perforated edge for easy foil removal, don’t waste your time hunting.  Simply cut the foil where you would on any other bottle of wine and remove.

Step 2: Loosen the Cage

Place your thumb over the top of the cage (very important!).  With the other hand, untwist the wire cage (usually six times) to fully loosen it. Leave the cage on (also very important!).  If you try to remove the cage there is a very good chance that it will agitate the cork and the cork may go flying off.  The cage should remain on the cork during the entire process.

Step 3: Twist the Bottle, Not the Cork

Tilt the bottle at a 45-degree angle (not pointing at anyone, of course!).  With your thumb still pressed down on the top of the cage/cork and the same hand wrapped around the neck of the bottle, place the other hand on the base of the bottle and gently rotate the bottle, releasing the cork. The bottle may be fully rotated or simply half-turned back and forth, whichever is easiest.

Step 4: Release the Cork

Pressure will begin to build, and the cork will begin shifting out of the bottle. Always keep your thumb/hand over the cage/cork! When the cork is near release, simply let it go on its own, releasing the cork and cage into your hand.  Hold the bottle an angle for a few seconds after opening to ensure that wine doesn’t spill out of the bottle.  Next pour and enjoy!

Happy Hunting!

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