Midday Fix: Great Alternatives to Champagne for your New Year’s Celebration

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Cindy Lowe Rynning, founder Grape Experiences



Starting with Zardetto – $18.99 an amazing Prosecco

This is a great choice for the New Year celebrations because it’s basically made for social occasions. It’s a perfect wine to start the evening or all night long. This is bright, bubbly, and refreshing, with beautiful, fruity aromatics, and perfect for entertaining. Prosecco is a classic wine to drink before sitting down to dinner because it’s known to whet the appetite. It can also be mixed into cocktails – brunch cocktails such as mimosas, or a classic Italian aperitif, like a Spritz or a Bellini.

Cocktail using Zardetto is:

Negroni Sbagliato (or just Sbagliato)

Sbagliato means incorrect or mistaken, as this drink subs prosecco in for the gin. Said to be discovered by a busy bartender mistakenly using sparkling wine instead of gin! A fortunate and happy error.

  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce Nardini bitters (or red bitter like Campari)

Top off with Zardetto Prosecco

Over ice

Garnish: orange peel


Another sparkling: Francois Montand Brut Blanc de Blancs NV (from France), SRP: $15

This is a great choice for the New Year celebrations because it’s a great tasting sparkling wine that also happens to be an incredible value. It’s made using the “Méthode Traditionelle” – the same labor-intensive, high quality process that is used to make Champagne (it gets its bubbles from a second fermentation in bottle, which adds richness and complexity). With an elegant, classic French label, François Montand introduces more people to this winemaking style, showing wine lovers everywhere that a well-made, high quality sparkling wine can be accessible.  Their grapes come from vineyards throughout France, from the Gascony region in southwest France to the Jura mountains.

Cocktail using Francois:

French 75

  • 1oz gin
  • 1/2oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2oz simple syrup
  • François Montand Brut

 Shake and strain into chilled champagne flute, Top with François Montand Brut Garnish with lemon twist and cherry.


Another sparkling: Martini & Rossi Asti DOCG   SRP: $11.99

Cocktail-  Sgroppino Float:

Swap option: Turn these cocktails into alcohol-free mocktails by omitting the vodka and swapping the sparkling wine for ginger ale.


    • 4 champagne glasses
    • 1 ounce raspberry syrup
    • 4 scoops lemon sorbet
    • 12 ounces sparkling wine, such as Prosecco, Asti Spumante or Champagne
    • 4 ounces vodka


  1. Pour 1/4 of the raspberry syrup into the bottom of each champagne glass.
  2. Add 1 scoop lemon sorbet and 1 ounce vodka to each glass.
  3. Fill to the top with sparkling wine and serve.





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