photography by HELEN JOHANNESEN
Helen Johannesen, the resident wine expert and beverage director at top Los Angeles restaurants Animal, Jon & Vinny’s and Trois Mec shares her picks for New Year’s Eve bubbles at a reasonable price.
NV Blanc de Noir, Gonet-Medeville, Champagne, $50
“This is one of my most favorite champagnes,” gushes Johannesen. “It’s made from 100-percent pinot noir and is absolutely magical! A little more junk in the truck but incredibly refined.”
NV Rose Champagne, Saint-Chamat, $45
“Fresh, bright and pink, this is a very cheery option with great acidity balanced with strawberry fruits,” says Johannesen.
NV J.Lassalle, Cachet d’Or, Champagne, $35
“A fatter more luscious dub step champagne, this is a blend of the three grapes grown in Champagne: pinot meunier, pinot noir and chardonnay,” says Johannesen. “It’s a little bready and super heady.”
NV Cremant de Bourgogne, Parigot, $23.95
“Even if you are keeping to under $50 for champagne, cremants are a killer value if you find the right producer,” says Johannesen. “Oftentimes half the price of champagne, this is 100 percent chardonnay made in Burgundy.”
NV Rose Frizant, Domaine Mas de Daumas Gassac, $22.99
“Made in the languedoc in the south west region of France, this wine is also a nice champagne alternative and such a crowd pleaser,” says Johannesen. “It’s made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, with a little weight, it feels decadent and refined at the same time.”