Champagne for New Year's Eve | Which one is right for me?

Just one more day left in 2011 and this is certainly the time to buy and drink good bubbles. 
I mean, NYE and Champagne go together like salt and pepper, right?  I personally don't leave a chance behind to drink a sparkling wine, prosecco, cava, sekt or champagne period.  But if that is not you and you only drink it for the special occasion such as your wedding anniversary or new year’s eve, that is ok as well.
But which bubbles are right for you?  Does it have to be Champagne?  If so, which price range should you shop in?  There are sooooo many offers out there these days, from the "giftwrapped" champagne with "free" champagne flutes, which you pay for anyways, to who knows what. 
If you have people coming over for New Year’s Eve or you are going to somebodies house and want to impress them, buy real champagne!  However, if they are wine lovers and ”in the know”, you may want to explore your options and try to find a unique alternative just to have something to talk about.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Champagne, but one of my personal favorite is actually a Sekt called Schlumberger and is from Austria.  The produce different styles, but the Brut is absolutely great stuff and can easily win a standoff against a Veuve Clicquot yellow label or a Moet Chandon Imperial (used be called white star)! 
If on the other hand, it is just you and your significant other, I would properly go for a nice cava or prosecco.  With the extra savings you may want to buy an extra bottles instead or simply match a view small Spanish or Italian "nipples aka tapas" with that and have a great romantic evening for two. 
Rather want to stick to the traditional or you are afraid that you get in trouble if it isn’t real champagne, you might as well go big and set yourself apart from the rest.  Not trying to badmouth Veuve Clicqout nor Moet Chandon Imperial (I actually like the Veuve Clicqout yellow label), but if you want to impress, go for Bollinger (used in James Bond movie) or Pol Roger. Really impressing for a deeper reach into your wallet, you can get Dom Perignon or Louis Roederer Cristal.  For the ultimate Champagne experience, go to a specialty wine shop and buy a bottle of Clos du Mesnil from the Champagne house Krug! 
In my humble opinion, it doesn't get any better than that!

Cheers and Happy New Year!

The revolution of wine | David vs Goliath

Earlier this week, I had the great opportunity to taste some grape varietals that I either had a long time ago while I visited Italy or never had at all.  I have to admit, some of them, I never even heard off before.  As we tasted thru the first flight of eight wines, I couldn't help myself but to notice that what is happening in the wine world, especially in "old world" wine countries, is the same what is happening here in the United States with beer.  All these Micro-brews from all over the country and more and more people finally turning their back to the Budweiser and Miller lite’s of this world! By the way - Bravo!!!

But back to the wine - isn't it interesting how things always come back at you?  I mean, first we rip all the old indigenous grape varietals out of the ground, so that we can replace it with

Wine for the holidays | What wine pairs best with your traditional dishes?

Before we get into the holiday wine pairing, I would like to apologize for not posting another blog earlier.  Believe or not, I actually was on vacation and got to eat plenty of good food and drank my share of great wine.  Now - back to the holidays, which are, by the way, just around the corner!
Thanksgiving pairing was easy, as the good, old "gooble, gooble" rules that festivity!  This one, not so much.  Every family, every different culture has their own approach; their own family dishes and with that a need for different wines to go with such dishes and traditions. Some people would say, don't worry about it, put a red and a white wine on the table, have some beer in the fridge and call it the day.