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Cheers! Ring in 2006 with some tasty bubbly

Toast to health, wealth and happiness in the new year with sparkling wines. Don and Petie Kladstrup, authors of “Champagne,” offer some choices.
/ Source: Weekend Today

Wondering what to serve at your New Year's Eve party? Don and Petie Kladstrup, authors of “Champagne: How The World's Most Glamorous Wine Triumphed Over War and Hard Times,” visited “Weekend Today” to share some champagne knowledge and selections.

What is champagne?
It's a wine with bubbles, but only champagnes grown in the Champagne region of France can be called champagne. Others are sparkling wine. Demi Sec champagnes have sugar added to them. These are sweeter and usually reserved for dessert.

How to best serve
Chilled — put in an ice bucket and add water to the ice. The biggest injuries involved with champagne are eye injuries, so don't point it at a person.

  • Pommery Pop: This was the champagne house closest to the front lines in WWI and headed by the woman who spearheaded the drive to make champagne what it is today — dry, or brut, instead of the sickly sweet stuff that existed before. (187 ml SPLIT, $11.95)
  • Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve NV: The founder of this champagne house is called Champagne Charlie. The exploits of Champagne Charlie's family are legendary and closely related to the U.S. (750 ml, $36.95)
  • Pol Roger Brut Reserve NV: Another WWI family whose 1914 vintage, made from grapes that were being picked as bombs were falling, was hailed as the “wine of victory.” It is still drinking beautifully. (750 ml, $28.95)
  • Taittinger Brut Millesime 1999: A lovely (affordable) vintage wine. (750 ml, $46.95)
  • Moet Chandon Brut Imperial Rose NV (750 ml, $39.95)
  • Veuve Cliquot Demi Sec NV (750 ml, $44.95)