12/30/2012 11:49:00 AM

New Year’s Wine Picks from Culinary Insiders

New Year’s Eve might be all about partying like a rock star, but if you really want to celebrate in style, drink like a restaurant industry all-star. Some of the country’s top chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs shared with us what wine they’re going to be drinking when the clock strikes midnight (along with some suggestions on where you can score some for yourself).

Aldo Sohm, Chef Sommelier at Le Bernardin, New York City
“Champagne! Most likely Roederer Cristal ’04. It has fan acidity, is fresh and it will give me enough energy to boost me into the New Year!”

David Lombardo, Beverage Director at Ditch Plains and Landmarc, New York City
"Since the mid-1800's, Pol Roger Champagne has been a symbol of excellence. SInce 2004, we have been celebrating the holidays with it in all of our Benchmarc Restaurants. It has become a staff and guest favorite. It’s golden in color and a delicate balance of floral and toasty nuttiness translate into a crisp dry finish."

Gavin Kaysen, Chef at Café Boulud, New York City
Domaine Weinbach Riesling from Alsace – it has a touch of sweetness up front, and is crisp and to the point. It pairs amazingly well with oysters, and surprisingly with fried foods! Try it with potato chips, you won’t believe how well they complement each other. It’s a sound wine choice for an elaborate or casual New Year’s Eve get together.”
67 Wine, $30

Joe Campanale, Wine Director and Partner at Dell'anima, L'Artusi and L'Apicio, New York City
“Crivelli Ruche 2011 from the three liter because 3L’s are the most festive format of wine (and not too large that people can't pour it themselves). Ruche is just a really fun, tasty red wine from Piedmont and when you are paying attention there is a lot of character you can get off of it, but you can also simply enjoy if caught up in festivities.”
Crush Wine & Spirits, $24 (standard bottle)

Marcus Samuelsson, Chef at Red Rooster, New York City
"For New Year's Eve, I always love to drink a vintage Dom Pérignon. The packaging is always beautiful to look at and helps to set the scene."
Vintry Fine Wines, 1996 Vintage, $225; 1990 Vintage, $295

Matthew Conway, Sommelier at Restaurant Marc Forgione, New York City
"I love big bottles – the bigger the better – and when celebrating what better than Champagne! It is our tradition at Marc Forgione to give a complimentary glass of Champagne out of a big bottle to ring in the new year. (One may make it to my apartment every year for the after party, too.) This year we will be serving 2000 Gaston Chiquet out of three liter bottles!”
Royal Wine Merchants, $62 (standard bottle)

Caleb Gibson, General Manager at Il Pittore, Philadelphia 
“I can think of no better way to celebrate than with the King of Italian wine, Barolo. I recently opened a bottle of Renato Ratti Barolo, in celebratory fashion, and was blown away by the balance of power and refinement. We opened the bottle almost an hour before we intended to drink it, as it was a relatively young vintage and we could have let it open for another three or four hours. It got more elegant over time and I immediately went out and got several more bottles as it could age for another ten to fifteen years! An excellent celebration wine, without breaking the bank.”  

Mary Edes, Beverage Director at Coppa Enoteca, Boston 
“The La Scolca Rugrè sparkling Cortese – a beautiful, bright sparkling wine made in the traditional method by the iconic Gavi producer La Scolca. The wine is perfect for toasting in 2013 or drinking throughout your entire meal because it works beautifully with many different foods.”

Gary Danko, Chef at Gary Danko, San Francisco
“I first discovered Jacques Selosse champagne from our friend Tim and again last summer at his wedding in Champagne to Laura at Chateau Les Crayères in Reims. Paired with one of the courses was Jacques Selosse Brut Blanc de Blancs Exquise Sec and in attendance were Anselme Selosse and his delightful wife Corinne. Neither speaks a lick of English but their wine transcended any boundaries. He is the most singled out winemaker in Champagne today whose work is so influential. Anselme has changed the course of Champagne winemaking, and, as many wine critics cite, decidedly for the better. It certainly is evident with the first sip. What better way to ring in the New Year!”

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