It's all about Eve: New Year's, that is. Celebrate with the kickiest sparkling wines and easy hors d'oeuvres.
Each tasty hors d'oeuvre recipe features its own ideal Champagne to sip, recommended by Michael Velo, bubbly expert from the Carriage House Restaurant in Chicago. The Fresh Orange, Rosemary, and Sage Sparkling Wine Cocktail pairs well with all of the appetizers—and to make it, Velo recommends using 2011 Bele Casel "Millesimato" Prosecco ($16): "This vintage prosecco has the body to stand up to the strong herbal and citrus notes of the cocktail, while adding Asian pear and honeydew melon flavors."
Mini Beef Wellingtons: Diebolt-Vallois Champagne, NV Blanc de Blanc, 100% Chardonnay ($36): "This bubbly is rich and toasty—just right with the herbs and flaky puff pastry."
Smoked Salmon Mousse Canapés: Mionetto Brut Prosecco, NV, 100% Prosecco ($14): "The fresh white peach harmonizes with the tarragon, and the hint of sweetness cuts the richness of the salmon."
Cheesy Caramelized Onion Flatbreads: Domaine de Baumard Cremant de Loire "Carte Turquoise," NV, 50% Chenin Blanc, 50% Cabernet Franc ($21): "The presence of green apple and golden raspberry pairs incredibly well with the mix of cheeses and black sesame. Add the light acidity from this sparkling wine and it is a great match."
Goat Cheese Poppers with Honey: André Clouet Grande Reserve Brut, NV Grand Cru, 100% Pinot Noir ($30): "If the lush cherry, strawberry, and cream are not enough to complement the goat cheese and spice from the black pepper and hot red pepper, the decadent, fruity finish should seal the deal."