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How are you celebrating New Year’s Eve?

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Now we’re over the excesses of Christmas, how can we celebrate New Year, without depleting the bank account even further?

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Whether you’re staying in and making dinner at home or celebrating out in a restaurant, sparkling wine always make it seem like an occasion, and it’s one of the most food-friendly wines too.

Sparkling wines are naturally crisp, and it's the acidity that cleanses our palates - so you have a sip of the wine and it makes you ready for the next bite of food, and that bite of food makes you want another sip of the wine ... it's the perfect seesaw!

The acidity in sparkling wine is especially good as a counterbalance to the dense creaminess of dairy foods like cheeses, or foods prepared with oil or cream like many Asian and French dishes. It's also a great counterpoint to salty and smoky foods like smoked oysters and smoked salmon!

Fortunately for us in Calgary, we have such a wonderful selection of sparkling and special occasion wines, that we’re spoiled for choice, however big or small our budgets.

Here are some recommendations of superb value celebratory wines to meet every budget from regions and countries that you might not have tried:

Graham Beck Brut - $26.50

This wine, drunk by both Nelson Mandela and Barak Obama on their inaugurations, is made by the traditional method from 54% Chardonnay and 46% Pinot Noir, fermented separately, then blended, bottled and left on the lees for 15-18 months.

Pares Balta Cava – $16.75

From a family-owned winery in Penedes, south of Barcelona in NE Spain, this Cava is made from certified organic grapes and is a blend of 58% Parellada, 25% Macabeo and 17% Xarel.lo.

Jaume Serra Cristalino - $15

Cristalino is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir with 40% Trepat - an ancient red (black) grape indigenous to the region of Penedes, in NE Spain. The winery has taken the unusual step of importing their yeast from Champagne.

Hungaria Grand Cuvée – $14

The leading Hungarian sparkling wine, Grand Cuvée is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling, bottle-fermented for one and a half years.

Veuve Du Vernay –$14

Produced from white grapes sourced from the Bordeaux region, Ugni Blanc, Columbard and Airen, this wine was first made by Jean Eugéne Charmat, the French Scientist who invented the closed vat method of fermentation.

Click here to see rosé sparkling wine suggestions

To find any of these wines in a store near you, click here and key in the name of the wine and your town in Alberta.

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