New Year’s Eve is a great excuse to drink sparkling wine, whether you’re reaching for the Champagne, the Prosecco, or the André. Regardless of what your palate and wallet allow, don’t stop at popping the bubbly — this New Year’s Eve, get in tune with your inner aspiring mixologist. We have 14 easy drink recipes that are sure to wow whether or not you know what you’re doing with a tumbler, as well as some tips to help you look like a pro.
First, saying it right. The general and correct term for bubbly is sparkling wine. Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne. Likewise, Prosecco is from the Veneto region of Italy — though it’s named for the town of Prosecco, which is actually not in the DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) region. There are other exceptions, such as cava, which is from the Catalonia region of Spain.
Second, pairing it right. Some sparkling cocktails are better with sweet wine, while others should really be kept to dry wine — dry being the opposite of sweet in wine terminology — and dry sparkling wine tends to pair better with food than a sweeter one. If you’re buying real Champagne, look for the word “Brut,” and you’ll have a dry wine. Otherwise, the level of dryness falls in this order: extra dry, dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet, and sweet. Don’t assume that a bottle of rosé bubbly is sweet, either: Many regions that produce sparkling wine focus on dry rosés.