A Wine Connoisseurs guide to the perfect New Year’s Eve celebration!

We tend to raise a glass or two of bubbly in celebration of new beginnings. With Champagne and Prosecco being some of the most popular choices for the New Year’s evening, some people choose to drink it all night long, while others enjoy it as an aperitif at midnight. Champagne and Prosecco will no doubt hold the spotlight, but we want to share with you some more options when it comes time to toast the start of a new year. This will guide you through a variety of festive wines for your guests to enjoy throughout the night. Some will be conventional and others, unexpected.

Whether you’re hosting or attending a dinner party, we have some ideas for you! As guests start arriving, the night typically starts off with some delicious hors d’oeuvres or canapés. For those also planning a lighter dinner, white wine could be the right way to go. You’ll want to serve something that is lighter-bodied and easy to drink, such as Pinot Grigio. Known for its fresh aromas of pear, citrus fruits, and melons, it perfectly complements the saltiness and fat in the canapés.

As appetizers start coming out, we recommend introducing wine with more complexity. Oysters and Shrimp cocktails are classic go-to for many on New Year’s Eve. Our top choice would be a crisp wine with higher acidity, like a Sauvignon Blanc. With beautiful citrus aromas and grassy undertones, it will pair perfectly with the creaminess of the oysters or any shellfish appetizer. This mouth-watering combination will be sure to excite any palate.

Shrimp cocktails are fresh and have a slight hint of sweetness. This pairs best with a white wine that encourages the same hint of sweetness. An off-dry Riesling would be a great choice, it’s crisp effervescence will cut through the creamy, tangy shrimp cocktail sauce.

As the night continues, we recommend bringing out something bold and memorable to have with dinner. With rich flavours, there’s no better companion than a robust Cabernet Sauvignon or even our own Mélange Red. A classic savoury steak, lamb or even a delicious roast would pair well with a fuller-bodied red wine that has smooth tannins and will balance out the richness of any tender meat.

Lastly, we arrive at the end of the evening with dessert because every New Year’s Eve should end on a sweet note! We don’t recommend pairing sweet wine with sweet foods, as it can become overbearing on your pallet. However, Sauternes has a balance of sweet honey and butterscotch with the zest of ginger. Beautifully balances with a berry cheesecake or lemon meringue. The sweet and tart flavours pair well with Sauternes’ honeyed vibrancy.

While Port is a recognizable name in fortified dessert wines, it is also a popular choice with its richer and notably sweet profile. A dark chocolate mousse dessert with a fruity component will pair better with a fruity LBV (Late Bottle Vintage), exploring hints of raspberry, blackberries, and cinnamon. If you love your chocolate paired with spices and nuts, you should consider a Tawny Port, barrel-aged with oxidative nut and caramel flavours.

For variety, we wanted to recommend an additional dessert wine known for its intense flavours, rich consistency, and unsurpassed smoothness. It’s great with desserts or as a digestif. Icewine’s rich texture stands up to creamy desserts such as crème brulée, or a tiramisu.

For some extra excitement when the clock strikes, try pouring icewine straight on top of your ice cream!

Cheers to the new year and to finding the perfect pairing for your festive season!