I always think the Best, the very best, is yet to come…and while I always look back on the past year and think of things I didn’t do, things I couldn’t accomplish, people I didn’t get to spend enough time with or things I should have done better, I always think of how happy and blessed I am, and look forward to an even better year ahead… This blog has 3 parts: Champagne; Hangover Cures, in case you overindulged on champagne, and New Year’s Resolutions! And yes…the best is yet to come!
CHAMPAGNE…Everything you needed to know
Whether you’re into Champagne that’s sweet, a splurge or even pink, we have the bottle that will make your New Year’s festivities a hit.
First, where does Champagne come from? To be truly called Champagne, it must come from the Champagne region of France — otherwise it’s just a sparkling wine. More than 300 growing areas produce all of the world’s Champagne, which is either vintage or non-vintage (NV). Vintage Champagne is made from the harvest of a particular year. Exclusive and more expensive, vintage Champagne is only made when the harvest’s quality allows for it. The other type of Champagne, non-vintage, makes up 80 percent of all Champagne bottles and is when winemakers blend different harvests from several areas.
Depending on the sugar content, the taste of Champagne can vary widely. There are several varieties to choose from (from driest to sweetest):
- Extra Brut is the exact opposite of sweet and is very, very dry. (6 grams or less of residual sugar per liter)
- Brut refers to Champagnes that are dry, and this is the type that’s the most popular and easiest to pair with foods. (12 grams or less of residual sugar per liter)
- Extra dry makes a great aperitif and is less dry than Brut. (12-17 grams of residual sugar per liter)
- Sec contains slightly more sugar. (17-32 grams of residual sugar per liter)
- Demi-sec is sweet and pairs well with fruit and dessert. (32-50 grams of residual sugar per liter)
- Doux is the sweetest variety and is not widely available in the U.S. (50 grams or more of residual sugar per liter)
Holiday weight gain is not inevitable if you make smart choices. Get your New Year’s drink on in a diet-friendly way with Laurent Perrier’s Ultra Brut. At only 65 calories a glass, you can have two! ($40)
Short on cash? In a setting where a luxury bottle won’t be appreciated? No problem! Budget Champagne doesn’t mean bad Champagne. There are a bunch of wallet-friendly options to choose from including the crisp Möet & Chandon Impérial Champagne. ($37)
If you really have something to celebrate this year, maybe a Champagne splurge is in order. For those looking to drop a little extra cash on a worthy bottle, the 2003 Moet et Chandon Cuvee Dom Perignon gets our pick. This gorgeous bottle oozes luxury and is quite the way to ring in 2013. ($239)
Pretty in pink
If rose Champagne is more your style, opt for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose. With fragrant notes of raspberry, cherry and strawberry, this is one Champagne that deserves to be at your New Year’s party! ($60) Veuve, happens to be my personal favorite, and since this one happens to be Pink, my favorite color, we will be toasting the new year in with this one. 🙂
- Sleep. Rest is your best friend at this point because your body needs an opportunity to recover. It is best to stay in bed so call in to work if you have to, tell them you have the stomach flu. You will sound so horrible on the phone that they may believe you (unless they saw you at the bar last night, then this is not a good idea).
- Liquids. Replenish your body with fruit or vegetable juice and water.
- Avoid caffeine. A weak cup of coffee may be okay, but a lot of caffeine will continue to dehydrate you, which is the opposite of what you want right now.
- Vitamin C. Drink orange juice for Vitamin C.
- Food. Eat mineral and protein rich food, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Pickles. In Poland, drinking pickle juice is a common remedy.
- Drink a Bloody Mary. While the popular phrase “hair of the dog that bit you” may sound logical with a shot of whiskey left in the bottle next to your bed, it will only provide temporary relief. Try a Bloody Mary instead, while your blood is dealing with the new alcohol it is ignoring the old and in the mean time, the tomato juice and celery are full of replenishing vitamins. If you drank the last of the vodka, make a Virgin Mary or Bloody Maria. Other spicy morning after drink options are Hair of the Dog, in which gin and hot sauce are sure to bite your hangover back, and the Carrot & Cilantro Cooler, another vitamin-packed savory drink.
- Take a shower. This will not only clean you up a little bit, but freshen and wake up your sense. Some people will also switch between cold and hot water, though don’t take this to an extreme.
- Try Alka Seltzer Morning Relief. One reader says that it’s all that he and his wife have found that really works for them. He stumbled across this “cure” while his wife was still suffering after two days, within 15 minutes after taking the Alka Seltzer she was fine.
- Get some exercise. Another reader suggests doing some sort of physical activity. He writes, “In the rare case of having hangover I usually drink about 1-2 liters of water and go outside to do some exercise like mountain climbing, swimming, cycling or just about anything that keeps me sweating.” It takes willpower to move like that when standing seems like a challenge, but there is truth to this for making both the body and mind feel better.
- Avoid pain killers if possible. The side effects of aspirin, Tylenol, and ibuprofen can be magnified when alcohol is in your system, so it is best (even though it may be the first thing you reach for) to avoid them to kill the hangover pain. Aspirin is a blood thinner, just like alcohol, and can intensify its effects and Tylenol (or acetaminophen) can cause more damage to your liver. Ibuprofen can also cause stomach bleeding. So be cautious when going for the quick relief.
- Vitamin B. As an antidote, one reader takes a little extra multi B vitamin and drinks a lot of water before going to sleep.
- Bury me? In Ireland it was said that the cure for a hangover is to bury the ailing person up to the neck in moist river sand. This may be folklore as I don’t know of anyone who has tried it and it seems like too much work, especially if your friends were partying with you, but it’s a little fun trivia for such a heavy subject.
My resolutions are always the same…be kinder, more patient, connect more with friends, exercise more, eat better, live in the moment, blah, blah, blah… Here are some better ideas, from the Daily Beast…I’m just providing the link, to check out on your own:
Popular Resolutions, courtesy of the US Government…because Big Brother is always watching!
Volunteer to Help Others
Get a Better Education
Get a Better Job
Eat Healthy Food
Take a Trip
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
Drink Less Alcohol
And here is when a Picture is worth a thousand words…
Happy New Year…Hello 2014!!
- Champagne & Beyond: Best Bubbly Options For New Year’s Eve (forbes.com)
- Curing the Holiday Hangover (drmandynd.wordpress.com)