New Year’s Eve Champagne at Marta in Manhattan

I can’t believe this is going to be my fourth (!) NYE in NYC. One thing has remained constant about the last day of the year: I start the night with some New Year’s Eve Champagne at Marta. Why, you ask?

Just add Champagne. / Photo via Facebook/Marta

Well you can’t beat pizza and Champagne. Whatever toppings/sauce/crust you opt for, there is no more versatile wine to compliment/transform a wild/wide variety of flavors and textures. I don’t even mind (too much) that I’m not drinking it out of a flute.*

Even better: Marta pours from magnums and 3Ls on NYE. I emailed the wine director, Kimberly Ruth Cavoores, to get the inside scoop on what & when.

So starting at 5pm, and until they are gone, here’s what’s popping at Marta:

New Year’s Eve Champagne: Big Bottle Duo

Dhondt-Grellet ‘Les Terres Fines’ Extra Brut Blanc de Blancs 1er Cru (3L)

Bereche & Fils  ‘Reflet d’Antan’ Brut (Magnum)

Both are $30/glass. (Oh, Kimberly says, “And maybe one more….”)

If you are a night owl, you can head down the hall to Vini e Fritti for a complimentary midnight toast of Krug, poured from magnum. (Naturally.)

Of course on a night like New Year’s Eve I’d contact either spot in advance to see what the deal is with reservations and/or walk-ins.

I’ll be grabbing a bar stool at Marta around  4:30 because I do not want to be anywhere near(-ish) Times Square and the insanity pulsating all around. Retreating to Brooklyn after my initial New Year’s Eve Champagne. Then heading to a friend’s house in Red Hook for cassoulet and natty wine(s).

Need some more Champagne thoughts? I have you covered:

Champagne Henriot Makes for an Illuminating Evening

A Most Unique Champagne: R. Dumont & Fils Solera Reserve Brut

How about sparkling wine? Boom:

Crémant is Your Sparkling Wine for the Holidays

Happy New Year, y’all.

*I’m sure Marta has flutes somewhere (I believe a former wine director told me this) and they’d be happy to accomodate me. But pouring from big bottles at bar height is not easy so I will be merciful and drink from a white wine glass. So benevolent of me, I know.

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Champagne Henriot Makes for an Illuminating Evening

As a sparkling wine fan(atic), pretty easy to say “yes” to a media event involving bubbles. And downright simple when it involves the finest of fizz from a producer I have been a longtime fan of: Champagne Henriot.

I have to say, it’s nice to be able to walk to an event. In this case, at National Sawdust in Williamsburg. I was there a couple years ago for a concert but I certainly wasn’t drinking Champagne. Anyway, this space is super space-age luxe. 

As we gathered in the lobby, our first sips were from a magnum of Champagne Henriot Blanc de Blancs. I love 100% Chardonnay Champagnes like this. They have a briskness perfect for kickstarting an evening/afternoon/late breakfast. Also, Champagne folks are gaga for drinking magnums. When in the region a couple years ago, one winemaker referred to the standard 750-milliliter bottle (somewhat derogatorily) as a “half-magnum.” Wine in mags ages more slowly and evenly because there is a larger juice-to-air ratio inside the bottle. AND THEY ARE JUST COOLER, PERIOD.

The star of the show, and the reason for the season, was Champagne Henriot Cuveé Hemera* 2005. It’s the first prestige cuveé for the winery’s cellarmaster Laurent Fresnet, who’s been with Henriot since 2006. This Champagne was luxurious, rich yet refreshing, and a great match with a monkfish dish served with lots of vegetables ON AN ILLUMINATED PLATE.

Anyway, it was a pretty bonkers evening. Harpists. Theremin-type action. Flutes. (Though, not Champagne flutes. Le bummer!)

We also drank the Brut Millésime 2008, a celebration of Maison Henriot’s 200th vintage. You definitely drink Champagne when you reach a couple hundred vintages, no?

Champagne Henriot Brut Souverain NV

Champagne Henriot Makes for an Illuminating EveningBut the Champane Henriot bottling that has a special place in my heart is the Brut Souverain. Yes, it was a distinct pleasure to be among the first folks to taste the Hemera. But the Brut Souverain, Henriot’s non-vintage blend, is a great introduction to the house and its style. It transports me back to selling it as a wine steward at QFC Broadway Market in Seattle. (Here’s a crazy story about those days, BTW).

Henriot was my go-to** recommendation for people just getting into Champagne and looking for something different than the usual suspects. It’s also important to note there are a lot of wineries with very expensive, prestige wines, but their “regular” offerings are disappointing. Not so with Chamapgne Henriot! This blend of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Noir, and 5% Pinot Meunier is all killer, no filler.

But even if you don’t have a harp accompaniment and a plate of monkfish, I promise you will enjoy Champagne Henriot. Consider it for all your dang holiday eating and drinking and then make your New Year’s Eve resolution (too soon?) to drink more high-quality sparkling wine all dang year long and FOREVER.

*Greek Goddess of Daylight

**Other go-to NV Champers I feel the same way about: Laurent-Perrier, Gaston Chiquet, Pierre Peters

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