For a sparkling New Year

You can choose from a wide array of beers, bubblies and other alcoholic beverages to help ring in 2012.

Champagne 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Champagne 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If you are going to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home, the least you can do is pop a bottle of bubbly. The sparkling wines have become very popular in Israel in recent years, and every opening or launch of, well, just about anything from a boutique to an exhibition or a presentation of a new product is accompanied by a bottle of champagne. But come December 31, it is the tradition.
Many Israeli wineries produce decent to good quality sparkling wines. We will mention a variety of wines and spirits offered by importers and local wineries especially for tomorrow’s celebration. Have a good one.
Beginning with the real McCoy, Bollinger is one of the last familyowned French Champagne houses, but even they are now producing Cava, meaning it’s not made in the area of Champagne. Their special Cava is excellent nonetheless and won the grade of 93 points from Wine Spectator (NIS 400).
Another champagne imported here is the Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve (NIS 392). The Ayala Champagne costs less but is still good, especially if you want a rose. The Rose Major by Ayala will open the year on a rosy note (NIS 312), while the brut major will cost around NIS 232.
Winner of 2010’s Best Champagne in the World award of French wine magazine La revue du vin de France, Billecart Salmon Brut Reserve is now imported to Israel and sold for NIS 414. Other Billecart Salmon imports include the Rose (NIS 662) and Demi Sec (NIS 350).
The Kerem importers also offer many Italian bubblies priced between NIS 40-100 and will get you going in style.
The Scottish Company offers a vast selection of bubblies for New Year’s Eve, among them kosher Pommery Brut Royal (NIS 286), Lanson Semi Dry (NIS 238), Lanson Rose Brut (NIS 304) and the very popular Spanish Cava Codorniu Pinot Noir at NIS 78. Other bubblies offered by the Scottish are various lambruscos and proseccos, many of which are kosher.
If you wish to encourage local producers, try the new Psagot Merlot 2009. Psagot Winery is located in the region of Binyamina, north of Jerusalem. The grapes are grown on the steep hills in an area that was famous for its wine thousands of years ago. The Merlot is a rich and fruity wine that goes very well with winter stews (NIS 75).
Other wines launched this fall are the Tabor Har series of reds, offered for NIS 45. These are simple but nice wines and include the Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz.
Other offers include special holiday packages, such as the Southern Comfort liquor imported by Ackerman. The bottle is sold with two glasses for NIS 135.
Other drinks that will carry you happily from one party to another include the newly imported Bacardi & Cola mix, which is ready to drink straight from the can (NIS 15).
If you are more a beer person, a barrel of five-liter Heineken will keep your party going for a while (NIS 100). Heineken also launched a special New Year limited edition of four designed aluminum bottles that represent the history of the company (NIS 40 for four). And local boutique beer Alexander suggests you choose its Black, a dark wintry beer that won a silver medal at Bira, the international beer competition (NIS 15 or NIS 80 for a six-pack).
So drink up and be merry. But please don’t drink and drive. Happy New Year.