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Why Bubbles on NYE? Ask a Somm.

December 2017

"Sparkling wine is rad." Andy Myers, a Master Sommelier and the Wine Director for ThinkFoodGroup, is a big fan of bubbly. New Years Eve is coming up, and sales of sparkling wine will be rising dramatically ... as much as sevenfold the week before January 1. Andy credits winemakers from the Champagne region of France - for which the most iconic sparkling wine is named - with connecting their product with special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, and New Years Eve.

Andy doesn't think it's just marketing. He also thinks there's a bit of excitement to opening a bottle of sparkling wine: "Popping the bottles, the chaos, the fact that everyone is a liiiittle bit afraid of opening it - it gets you a little jumpy and nervous but it gets your senses heightened," he says. He also has a deeper reason to drink bubbles as one year turns to the next: "This time of year is a time for reflection, looking back over the last year, looking forward to the following year - I think bubbly is the kind of wine that really lends itself to contemplation."

He doesn't insist that you stick to Champagne, though - it's not always the most budget-friendly option. Andy likes Spanish Cava - he works for Chef José Andrés, after all - but he's also a fan of French bubblies like Crémant de Bourgogne, sparkling Vouvray, and Crémant d'Alsace. A few American winemakers also make great bubbles - Andy recommends Iron Horse and Argyle from California, and Gruet from New Mexico.

As for safely opening a bottle of sparkling wines, Andy doesn't like the pop. "We didn't just win the World Series - I shouldn't need to wear goggles," he jokes, referencing the party-like atmosphere in a baseball clubhouse after a major win, corks flying everywhere. "A gentle sigh is enough."

So have yourself a happy, bubbly New Year! Don't stop drinking sparkling wines on January 1st, though - Andy believes that every day can be a special occasion. "We live on a giant rock hurtling around the sun ... it's always a good day to be alive."

We'll drink to that!