With party hosts, bar and restaurant managers and event planners around the UK currently organising their 2018 New Year’s Eve parties, a beg decision for all involved will be what they should serve throughout the evening. 

As wine aficionados, this is obviously a topic very close to our hearts here at Octavian Vaults and we have a quite intriguing topic to end the year and give you some food for thought as you head into the festive season.

You may well have read with interest our recent articles here at the Octavian Blog, covering everything from the best mulled wine recipes to the best way to store your fine wines.

Our latest feature however, goes in a somewhat different direction and looks at the merits of breaking from tradition and switching from Champagne to wine this year.

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New Year’s Wine Trends

Historically, the more sophisticated New Year’s Eve parties have been dominated by Champagnes due to the heritage associated with the beverage and of course the fine taste that is almost guaranteed. However, New year wine has seen a bit of a shift in recent years due to many variants such as cava wine showing noticeable (or even unnoticeable) improvements.

Although the chances are that you aren’t looking to cut corners or be particularly thrify for New Years, it is of course the biggest party of the year, there are some alternatives that are not only cheaper but that some people are growing to prefer.

Many of the more seasoned Champagne fans are often a little hesitant to try cava wine or prosecco instead of Champagne, but once they do they rarely look back.

So, if you are still asking yourself the question, wine or champagne for New Year 2018 then why not err on the side of adventure and try something new?

In true Octavian style, we have even scoured the market to find the best wines you could potentially serve instead of Champagne for New Year’s Eve. 


Three Choirs Classic Cuvée Brut – Three Choirs Vineyard

Our first Champagne alternative comes from Gloucestershire vineyard, Three Choirs, which is not a million miles away from our Corsham Cellars in Wiltshire. Nestled in between the picturesque locations of the Cotswolds and the Forest of Dean, this sparkling wine is made exclusively from the Seyval Blanc grape.

This gives this great alternative an unmistakable pear, apple and elderflower taste that offers almost untouchable refreshment and will surely complement any meal this Christmas and New Year.

What’s more, you can even go and visit the vineyard for the weekend and see how this awesome wine is produced, in quite idyllic surroundings. 


Cava Reserva Brut – The Society

Our Cava recommendation was perhaps our trickiest pick, due to the resurgence this sparkling beverage has enjoyed in recent years. As we discuss later, Prosecco has been running the show of late but it’s Spanish cousin has been showing it’s worth with some great performers in 2017.

We have opted for The Society’s Cava Reserva Brut NV, due in no small part to the excellent reviews it has been earning from well-respected authorities in fine wine.

This cava is produced on a small family estate in Penedes, Spain and uses a hint of Chardonnay to give it that little something extra. The Champagne method is used to create this great wine but it is unmistakably a cava due to the grapes used and of course the Spanish climate.

Enjoy this one with seafood of course, but we think it could be perfect tipple for your New Year’s celebrations! 

Bisol Prosecco – Valdobbiadene Superiore di Cartizze

You knew it was coming, we couldn’t really profile the best wines on the market you should be replacing your Champagne with and not include a Prosecco; Italy’s proud counterpart to Cava.

Many prefer this tipple to Champagne and there are hundreds of excellent variations emanating from Italy these days. Our pick for this year’s New Year celebrations is the DOCG of Cartizze as it has been a top performer all year around and cannot be overlooked.

It is in essence quite a sugary wine but it is of course the season to indulge somewhat and there is enough fruity balance to allow you to drink this one all afternoon and evening if one so wishes. This wine has come top of a lot of wines to watch for the festive period and you will be able to find it fairly easily in your local wine shop or supermarket.

That rounds up our last feature of the year and our top reasons for selecting wine over Champagne this New Year. We hope you have enjoyed our articles and will be back in the New Year covering all things fine wine storage, investments and of course the lowdown on the market.

If you would like to contact our wine experts on any aspect of fine wine storage or cellarage, just give us a call on 01225 818 714 or click here.