Fiona Beck­ett Crack open a good bot­tle to see in the new year

The Guardian - Feast - - Feast -

Now that it’s be­come al­most oblig­a­tory to do dry Jan­uary, there’s a fair chance you’re go­ing to want to make the best of this week­end and drink some­thing de­cent be­fore you ab­stain. And, to my mind, New Year’s Eve is a far bet­ter oc­ca­sion than Christ­mas to bring out a cher­ished bot­tle: some­thing you can tai­lor the food around, rather than have to ac­com­mo­date the bird.

Per­son­ally, I’d be happy to drink cham­pagne right through the evening, whether I’m in party mode or curled up on the sofa in front of the telly, and although dis­counts on the big brands have to be taken with a pinch of salt, there are still some good deals around. The most at­trac­tive at the time of writ­ing is the Co-op’s ex­cel­lent

(12%), which is on

Cham­pagne Les Pi­o­neers

of­fer at £18.99. While you’re there, I sug­gest you pick up the same store’s

Famille Perrin Les Car­dinaux 2016

(13.5%), a Châteauneuf-du-Pa­pealike that’s on of­fer at the very unChâteauneuf price of £8.

If you want your lo­cal wine mer­chant to sur­vive, it would be good to give them at least some of your cus­tom over the new year. Lea & San­de­man, for in­stance, which has four branches around Lon­don, has a won­der­fully ele­gant

Vino No­bile di Mon­tepul­ciano 2015

from Can­tine Dei that would be per­fect if you’re cook­ing an Ital­ian-style roast (£23.95, or £21.95 by the split case; 14%). Or, by con­trast, try the sen­su­ously silky

Tongue in Groove Ca­bal Vine­yard Pinot Noir 2014 Viña Ar­danza Ri­oja Reserva Eggnog for the dis­cern­ing drinker, and per­fect for a New Year’s Eve nip. Mon­tene­gro is an Ital­ian di­ges­tivo made in Bologna that’s es­pe­cially pop­u­lar in the north of the coun­try. It’s more flo­ral and del­i­cate than the vis­cous, pitch-black amari of the south, such as Averna.

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