The end of any year is cause for reflection, but this year...this year is different. Perhaps you'll be even more inclined to reflect, though no one will judge if instead you choose to forget. 2020, after all, has been a doozy. Whichever path you take, this time of year always reminds me that bubbles should not be relegated to the brief windows on the calendar of New Year's eve and Valentine's Day. A recent Tuesday evening front yard gathering reminded me of this, and the fact that a liberating atmosphere is within affordable reach.
How? Pop open any one of the growing number of quality sparkling wines made the world over and let that spark your occasion. New Mexico, England, Argentina, Italy, Spain...the list of unsuspecting (and therefore more accessible) sources for respectable bubbles is long. Better still, though $15 won't get you into the mind-bending category of sparkling wines, there are many good ones out there that won't break the bank, either.
Case in point is the Vilarnau Cava Brut Reserva (Sample, $15) that breathed some life into a frigid happy hour earlier this week. Refreshing and crisp, it also has some interesting nutty creaminess thing going on, but mostly it's just fun to drink. As you consider your New Year's plans, you might also consider having a few bottles of bubbly on hand for mid-week evenings when morale could use a lift.
Cheers to all and please make this a safe one. Happy New Year!