Stock the NYE bar to ring in 2014

by Kari Walker

Last minute options of sparkling wine from Philippe's Wine Cellar

2013, you've been kind, but it's time to show some respect to the new year by raising our glasses and toasting what's ahead. The traditional beverage of choice is Champagne, but what makes a good glass of bubbly?

Philippe's Wine Cellar knows a thing or two about how to drink to any celebration - and thank goodness, because the selection is harder than you think.

Ben Leger, sommelier at Philippe's and Jared Cocke, fine wine specialist at Republic National Distributing Company recently hosted a champagne tasting for customers to sample varieties of sparkling wine to help with selection for upcoming festivities. From Prosecco to Brut to Cava, each has a unique quality and is pleasing to different palates. What does it all bubble down to? Grapes: where are they grown and how they are produced to result in the end product bottled to perfection.

IND Eats likes the Brut Rose' by J - it's light and delicate combination of red fruits and cherry flavors and only $24.99 per bottle. Pair a glass with just about anything, especially pork, lamb and cheesecake. A common misconception is anything pink is sweet, but this is not true when it comes to sparkling wine - the color relates to the variety of grapes used for production.

Jared Cocke finished the tasting with a few tips for party planing and drink selections with these rules of thumb:

Stop in today for some last minute bottles for that midnight toast. Let Ben Leger and the knowledgeable staff at Philippe's choose a case of sparkling wine for you and receive a 15 percent discount.

As always, please don't drink and drive - get a designated driver and have a happy new year from IND Eats.