Seven Ways to Celebrate the New Year with Champagne
Don’t fight it: Champagne and New Year’s are decidedly intertwined.
Oysters are at their prime in the coldest months, and as the name might suggest, Frank’s Oyster House and Champagne Parlor in Ravenna has both bubbles and bivalves in spades. This is the first year Frank’s is doing a special menu ($60) for the holiday; the four courses include raw oysters on the half shell with lemon--cucumber relish as well as baked oysters with fontina. It won’t be nearly as fun without the $45 companion champagne flight. franksoysterhouse.com
That’s the term for grower champagne, the smidgen of France’s famed sparkling wine that’s made by the same people who grow the grapes, rather than a giant, brand-name champagne house. And how fortunate that Seattle has its very own business dedicated to importing these hard-to-find bottles, each one a revelation that champagne can, in fact, have terroir. Fat Cork does individualized picks for its club members, or you can shop the website, make an appointment, or stop in during tasting hours. fatcork.com
Lambrusco, a sparkling red wine from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, had some dark (and cloyingly sweet) days during the 1970s. But a few local restaurants are reacquainting us all with its drier, effervescent joys. Given its Italian origins and the fact that it’s dynamite with cured meats and even pizza, you can herald 2014’s arrival with a bottle at Stoneburner, Rione XIII, or Cuoco—all these fine establishments will be serving dinner on New Year’s Eve.
stoneburnerseattle.com, ethanstowellrestaurants.com, cuoco-seattle.com
Come nightfall, bubbles will be flowing all over town, but the good people at Rob Roy have a certain way with champagne--based cocktails. The Belltown lounge always offers the classic (featuring a sugar cube doused in Angostura bitters) and a citrusy version made with St. Germaine. New Year’s Eve here feels surprisingly mellow; come midnight everyone troops outside, along with bargoers up and down Second Avenue, to watch the fireworks over the Space Needle. Champagne purists will appreciate glass pours of higher-end bubbles like Dom Pérignon and the toast at midnight. robroyseattle.com
A few Washington wineries are making sparkling wines that can stand up to the California powerhouses. Treveri Cellars in Wapato makes nothing but sparkling wine; the State Department has even poured it at official receptions. The brut blanc de blanc is easy to find at Whole Foods and local bottle shops. Domaine Ste. Michelle makes more sparkling wines than anyone in the state—all in France’s traditional methode champenoise and under its Michelle label. The brut is the top seller; find it at local markets big and small. trevericellars.com, michellesparkling.com
Not that anyone needs additional enticement to shop at Far 4, a First Avenue haunt full of stylish jewelry and yes-please gifts. But owner Jenny Hudak Klimenkoff recently installed a champagne lounge and pours six types of bubbles by the glass in the most charming of vintage flutes. She will be open until 8 on December 31 for all your accessorizing and toasting needs. far4.net
Champagne, meet orange juice. Suddenly drinking in the AM is civilized—nay, encouraged. And forget the idea of ushering in 2014 at a greasy spoon; Art Restaurant and Lounge does a special $28 brunch, plus an additional menu that’s all about eggs Benedict, served with arresting views worth changing out of your sweatpants. Champagne will flow in both unadorned and mimosa forms. artrestaurantseattle.com
This article originally appeared in the December 2013 issue of Seattle Met under the title "Seven Ways to Ring in 2014 with Bubbles."