Which champagne is best for your taste?

Even though New Year’s Eve will be somewhat tame because it is in the middle of the week, it will not stop us from at least sharing a glass to ring in 2014.

My husband and I love sparkling wine and drink it frequently, not just for holidays.

The term “sparkling wine” encompasses all wines that have a certain amount of effervescence, or “fizz.” Sparkling can only be called champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Prosecco and Asti are from Italy, cava is from Spain, sekt from Germany and sparkling wine from everywhere else. Wherever it hails from, there is just something about the festive nature of a sparkling wine that can revive your senses, cleanse your palate, refresh your mind and just taste great.

As Madame Bollinger once said: “I drink champagne when I am happy and when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it — unless I am thirsty.”

From 1941 to 1971, Bollinger ran the prestigious French champagne house, doubling its sales to more than a million bottles. In 1969, Madame Bollinger also introduced the first champagne to be made exclusively from pinot noir grapes. Until then and still today, most champagnes were a blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier.

Sparklers can vary greatly in price, but there is a bottle for every budget just as there is a style to suit everyone’s taste. They can range from very sweet such as an Italian Moscato d’Asti to a bone-dry French extra brut. If you like chardonnay, perhaps you can begin with a Blanc de Blanc, meaning the wine was only made with chardonnay grapes. If you are a pinot noir fan, try the Blanc de Noir style made with only pinot noir grapes.

With over 56 million bubbles in a bottle of champagne, how could you not find celebration in every glass? Remember, you are special and deserve sparkling wine!