What better way to celebrate the end of a decade - and the beginning of a new one - than cracking open something that was bottled several years ago? It's almost New Year's, and that calls for something bubbly.

What better way to celebrate the end of a decade - and the beginning of a new one - than cracking open something that was bottled several years ago? It's almost New Year's, and that calls for something bubbly.

If you think you need to have champagne to toast the 2010s, here's a tip: only sparkling wine produced in Champagne, France, is allowed to be marked as "Champagne." The rest of the sparkling wine in the world is limited to calling itself exactly that, although they're most all made following the same procedure.

And interestingly, says Bob Galvin, owner of Simplified Wines in Powell, sparkling wine's effervescence helps hide otherwise noticeable imperfections, so grapes that don't grow so wonderfully are sometimes the very ones in the wines we associate with celebrating.

Galvin suggests these bubbly picks - he calls the J. Laurens the "house wine" because it's so popular, and the Moet & Chandon is his all-time favorite.

Simplified Wines will be celebrating New Year's early with patrons, at 8 and 9 p.m. on New Year's Eve so as not to overlap with dinner or party plans. You can be sure J. Laurens will be available for sampling.


J. Laurens Cremant de Limoux (2006)

Region: Cremant, France

Cost: $15

Flavors: Mouth-filling, with fresh apples and citrus

Pairs well with: All the classics - chocolate, strawberries, cheese spreads or fish dishes

Bob Galvin's advice: "It's our number-one-selling bottle. No one else can say, in any wine shop, that their number-one-selling wine is a sparkling."


Schramsberg blanc de noirs (2006)

Region: Calistoga, California

Cost: $30

Flavors: Soft apricot and peaches

Pairs well with: All the classics - chocolate, strawberries, cheese spreads or fish dishes

Bob Galvin's advice: "This is a classic one. This is actually made out of pinot noir, a red grape, but they don't let the wine ferment with the grape skins, so it stays white."


Moet & Chandon Imperial (NON-VINTAGE)

Region: Champagne, France

Cost: $50

Flavors: Bright and smooth, with a long finish

Pairs well with: All the classics - chocolate, strawberries, cheese spreads or fish dishes

Bob Galvin's advice: "It makes you want to have another sip, and that's how I kind of determine good wines. It doesn't dry out your mouth. The flavors just keep flowing."