What’s more emblematic of celebrating the coming of a New Year than toasting with a glass of champagne? Nothing! That’s why it makes perfect sense that New Year’s Day is also National Champagne Day!
Champagne is a sparkling wine that hails from the Champagne region of France. And yes—to be called Champagne, it legally must be produced in the protected appellation of Champagne, though many people use the term “champagne” colloquially to describe sparkling wine.
Within the delightfully effervescent Champagne category, there are a few different varieties. Most of the Champagne you’ll find in your local shop will be non-vintage, meaning that the finished product has been blended from various grapes and/or various vintages. You may, however, encounter a few of these special varieties:
- Blanc de blancs is a term that literally translates to “white from whites,” and is used to describe Champagnes that are made exclusively from white grapes—like Chardonnay or Pinot blanc grapes.
- Blanc de noirs—meaning “white from blacks”—denotes Champagne made entirely from black grapes, including pinot noir, pinot meunier, or a blend of the two.
- A Cuvée de Prestige signifies that the wine inside is a proprietary blend. It is usually used to designate a producer’s most premium or “reserve” offering—like Louis Roederer’s Cristal or Moët & Chandon’s Dom Pérignon.
- Rosé Champagne (not to be confused with Pink Champagne, which isn’t really Champagne at all) has a softer taste than other types of Champagne, and a tinge of pink coloration that’s frequently achieved by adding a bit of Pinot Noir wine to regular Champagne.
Regardless of variety, all champagne also receives a style classification, ranging from driest to sweetest: Extra Brut, Brut, Extra Dry, Sec, Demi-sec, and Doux. Brut is the most commonly sold champagne on the market today.
Champagne is, of course, delicious all on its own—but it can also be used as an ingredient in many popular cocktails for some extra pizzazz. (And we won’t tell if you use sparkling wine in lieu of Champs.)
For something simple, you can’t go wrong with a Champagne Cocktail—after all, it was good enough for Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in the classic movie Casablanca! A Kir Royale is another classic choice… and it has a beautiful, ruby hue worth celebrating. And if you’re making enough for a party, Champagne Holiday Punch is always a crowd-pleaser!
No matter how you choose to enjoy your champagne on National Champagne Day, raise a glass this New Year to health, wealth, happiness… and a year of great cocktails ahead. And if you drink too much? Well… National Bloody Mary Day also being celebrated on January 1st is no accident. ;-)
National Champagne Day is typically celebrated