Need help choosing the right bubbly to pop on Dec. 31? Diane Hamilton, owner of the Cheesekeeper in west Belleville, has just what you need.
In case you need a primer when buying sparkling wine, “brut” refers to the driest of bubblies. After brut, in ascending order of sweetness, are extra dry (or extra sec), sec, demi-sec and doux.
Here are the Cheesekeeper’s top four choices, all of which are in stock and ready for you to pick up for your New Year’s celebration:
1. Segura Viudas, a Spanish cava (sparkling wine) brut, $25. Not only does it taste great, says Diane, but the packaging is beautiful; just right to give as a gift. The maker says it “delivers aromas of white fruit and citrus, along with tropical and light floral notes. The exquisite, complex palate includes notes of lime and pineapple, with balanced acidity. It is refreshing and smooth on the finish.”
2. J Vineyards brut rose sparkling wine from California. Wine Enthusiast review said it has “pale copper hue with very tiny bubbles. Enticing scents of red raspberry and white peach. Creamy acidity and juicy flavors of Red Delicious apple and wild cherry...” Price: $33.
3. Dom Perignon. This French classic is a brand of vintage Champagne produced by the Champagne house Moët & Chandon. All the grapes used in a particular vintage are from that year. The most recent vintage available is 2006. Cost: $200.
4. Cristal Champagne. Aged six years, according to French maker Louis Roedere Champagne, “it has a silky texture and fruity aromas, complemented by a powerful mineral quality with white fruit and citrus notes. Cristal is a wine that keeps well: It can be conserved for over 29 years without losing its freshness and character.” Cost: $300.
The Cheesekeeper is at 6500 W. Main St., in the Arcades Shopping Center. Phone is 618-398-7184.