This likely will be the quietest, most calm New Year’s Eve celebration to be experienced in a long time.
The lack of large gatherings or parties does not mean that you cannot celebrate the departure of 2020, which has become a most difficult of years in many ways. While there will be no mass gatherings, the event can and should be celebrated with the immediate adult family.
Since the traditional celebration almost always includes sparkling wines or Champagne, I would like to make some suggestions.
Champagne Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve ($55)
This brut is made from the same classical Champagne grapes that have graced the variety for centuries: chardonnay, pinot meunier and pinot noir. The chardonnay adds elegance and crispness to the finished wine, while the pinot noir contributes body, strength and fruit flavors. The pinot meunier acts as a softening buffer between the two other dominant elements while adding a fresh, young quality to the wine.
Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Rose American ($80)
Here is a French Champagne that has been made to conform to the American taste. The very dry Champagnes are referred to as the British style, so I guess if the wine is just slightly sweet, that is the American style. Whatever the style, this wine presents a positive aroma of cherries, strawberries, rye bread and rose petals, as well as a smoky note. On the palate, the wine is complex and enjoyable.
Chandon Sweet Star ($27)
This wine is not super sweet but just on the sweet side. The sweetness is controlled so that it does not overpower the true flavors and aromas but rather complements them. The flavors and aromas of summer fruits abound. Despite its French name, this wine is a true child of California and boldly proclaims that in its flavor.
Santa Margarita Prosecco ($23)
Santa Margarita Prosecco is an exceptionally fine sparkling wine that can easily rival the best from the Champagne district of France. The alpine-grown grapes endow the wine with a creamy melon, citrus and pineapple flavor and aroma. The wine trails off with a yeast and toasted bread aftertaste that lingers in the mouth for a long time. Try this wine with winter holiday dinners; it can stand up to the ham or turkey usually served, as well as the assorted side dishes, sweet or savory.
Left Coast Cellars Queen Bee Bubbly ($36)
If you saw this on the shelf, you probably would pass it by as some cheap, unsophisticated joke. The bottle resembles a typical sparkling wine that is very unceremoniously sealed with a crown cap, similar to those used for soda bottles. Unattractive, yes, but there is more. A quick look will show there is “junk” lying in the punt of the bottle. This wine starts off as a well-made white pinot noir, which is then bottled and given a dosage of encapsulated yeast, the “junk,” to start secondary fermentation (turn the bottle over and see the snow shower). It is then carbonated by the addition of honey from bees living on the estate and sealed. The result is an outstanding wine. It is dry, displaying a host of flavors and aromas. Ginger, honey, pear and clove are the most obvious but there are more. This is what I will be serving at my very exclusive (close family members only) New Year’s celebration.
Wine columnist Bennet Bodenstein can be reached at email@example.com.
Read profiles of this year's honorees.
Aaron York, general superintendent of Donco 3 Construction, describes what he sees in the construction job market in Springfield in 2021. Rachel York is the co-owner of Donco3 Construction.
Jim Meinsen gives his advice for finding new clients as the owner of a new or existing business. Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and recently celebrated 50 years in business.
Jeramey and Julia Henson discuss the reason they and HM Dentworks co-owner Chris McWhirter started the HM Dentworks Academy. With the job demands of their field taking them across the country, all three felt that they needed a plan for the future.
Caleb Scott, owner and coach of the Queen City Insane Asylum, says the name for the team was chosen lightheartedly. He said the name also catches people's attention.
Barak Hill gives advice based on what he learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it affected his business. He says we should all have a backup plan ready to use.
Sandy Higgins, owner of the Crackerjack Shack, recommends the book "The E-Myth Mastery" by Michael E Gerber. She says it changed the course of how she runs her business.
Aaron York describes the work culture he tries to foster at Donco3 and why he attributes to it a part of Donco3's success. Rachel York is a co-owner of Donco3 and Aaron is the General Superintendent.
Hollie Elliott, executive director of the Dallas County Economic Development Group, explains how local schools factor into business decisions and affect a local community.
Rachel Barks, owner of Artistree Pottery, says an important lesson she learned was not to over-expand and to do her research before hand. She gives examples from her experience as a startup business owner.
Jim and Debbie Meinsen own TCI Graphics, and are now celebrating 50 years of business. Jim Meinsen takes some time to explain his philosophy on debt, and how to stay out of it.