As one of the year’s biggest nights for bubbly approaches, we have just one question: What are the pros drinking? We polled sommeliers and wine professionals across the country to find out their favorite celebratory bottles and late-night pours for New Year’s Eve. Large-format Champagne from the region’s top houses? Check. Beloved farmer fizz? Of course. Spumante Rosato? Why not! Tequila and tacos? Pass the lime, would you?
Here are 10 ways to drink like a professional this New Year’s Eve.
“At Cote, we will be pouring a super special bottle for NYE. I had Bollinger bottle especially for us a 12L (a Balthazar!) that we will pop and pour onto a fantastically tall Champagne tower. It is going to be quite the show!” — Victoria James, Beverage Director, Cote, New York, NY
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“On New Year’s Eve I will be with my family and close friends eating a feast of seafood delights starting with raw oysters and shellfish and working up to grilled octopus and Hamachi collar. Naturally, we will start with Champagne, and Krug Grande Cuvee is my go-to – it’s rich, pleasurable, and light on its feet. As a follow, I’ll open a bottle of Dauvissat Chablis Grand Cru Prueses 2014. Both Champagne and Chablis come from aquatic soils that make for natural pairing with seafood.” — John Slover, Corporate Beverage Director, Major Food Group, New York, NY
“Well, I’m going to be working the floor that night, so I know I am going to be opening a lot of magnums of Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé. It’s one of my all-time favorite Champagnes to have with a meal and drink it by itself. It’s a benchmark bottle for what rosé bubbles should be. So while I’m serving it that night, I won’t be able to help having some for myself.” — Gregory Stokes, Sommelier, Veritas, Columbus, OH
“I’ve been slumming it for the last few new years, so maybe I’ll turn it up! Loads of good tequila and delishy tacos. Why? Because I love tequila and tacos, and it’s a great way to start off a new year, with the things you love.” — Sebastian Zutant, Co-Owner and Beverage Director, Primrose, Washington DC
“Champagne, obviously! I usually save special bottles for this night and this year it is a magnum of 1998 Dom Ruinart. Yum.” — Emily Wines, Master Sommelier and VP, Beverage Experience, Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants, Nationwide
“I lived my best life in 2018, so I will bring in the year with some ‘best life’ bubbles. Which Champagne pairs best with ‘you go girl’? The Pommery Cuvée Louise Brut 2004. Pommery’s prestige cuvée is made from three grand crus: Ay, Cramat, and Avize, aged for 12 years, and uses minimal dosage. The result is a vibrant, minerally, nutty, elegant wine that screams, ‘The best is yet to come!’” — Regine Rousseau, Sommelier, Author, and CEO, Shall We Wine, Chicago, IL
“I know that the wine stereotype here is ‘you must have bubbles’ and as much as I hate conforming to any formula, I must bend to the power of Champagne. No other bubbly fits New Year’s Eve better. I want those tiny little bubbles and the rich golden color of Champagne to be the decoration on every table. My choice is from the grower/producer AR Lenoble 2008 Grand Cru, Blanc de Blancs Brut from Chouilly.” — Ferdinando Mucerino, Sommelier, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA
“Bubbles are appropriate — both flavor-wise and also for the symbolism of starting a new year off in a celebratory way. Always a fan of Erpacrife Spumante Rosato or Fontanafredda Alta Langa Contessa Rosa Rosato.” — Dan Amatuzzi, Beverage Director, Eataly USA
“I start every year off with Champagne! It has become a tradition, and our siblings and close friends come to Flight to toast with us and our staff while we work at the stroke of midnight. I am partial to sparkling rosé. This year, I will be toasting with something special from our cellar, the Cuvée Rubis Brut from Vilmart & Cie. I have always felt each moment in life is short and to be celebrated. And 2019 needs an extra sparkle and boost!” — Swati Bose, Sommelier and Owner, Flight Wine Bar, Washington DC
“As much Champagne as possible!” — Jack Mason, Master Sommelier, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.