Best wine for New Year's Eve

Which wine is the best choice for New Year's Eve? When celebrating the new year, choose a festive wine that matches your food. In this wine guide, you will find wine recommendations for some of the most popular dishes for New Year's Eve. 

Toasting Champagne for New Year's Eve

Last updated December 20th 2021

Champagne is probably the most popular wine to celebrate the new year. Some people chose to drink Champagne all night long, and other people drink it only as an apéritif or at midnight. There is no right or wrong when it comes to pairing food and wine for New Year's Eve, but we will give you some tips on how to make the best pairing with popular festive dishes. 

Champagne - the most festive wine  

If there is one night during the year you should open a bottle of Champagne, it's New Year's Eve. It is without a doubt the most festive wine, and people from all over the world drink this fresh, sparkling wine to celebrate the new year.

We have an extensive wine pairing guide about Champagne, where you will find many food pairing suggestions to different types of Champagne, including Vintage Champagne, Rosé Champagne, Blanc de Blancs and Blanc de Noirs. You will also learn more about the different sweetness levels of Champagne and how to match this wine with food.

Champagne being poured into glasses

Champagne is a versatile wine that works with many different types of foods, such as: 

Tips! If you want to find the perfect food for the sweetness level of your Champagne, check out our guide about Sparkling wine sweetness levels

Canapés and Prosecco

Many people start the New Year's Eve festivities by serving canapés or some snacks. Choose a wine that matches the flavors in the food. There are many good wine choices for canapés. Sparkling wine is a great choice because the acidity and bubbles cut through the fat in the canapés. A classic non-vintage Champagne is a safe choice, but there are other good wines you can serve to start the evening in the right mood.

canapés with shrimps

Tips! In our Sparkling wine pairing guide you can learn more about pairing food with sparkling wine.

Chips and Champagne

You don’t have to make it very complicated. If you have a bottle of cold Champagne you can simply serve it with a bowl of chips as an aperitif. The fat and salt in the chips will match perfectly the acidity and mineral notes in the Champagne.

salty potato chips

Tips! If you want more wine pairing suggestions for snacks, read our Snacks & Wine Guide.

Oysters and Champagne Brut

Oysters are another classic dish for New Year's Eve, and Champagne is the obvious pairing. The fresh saltiness of the oysters is perfectly balanced by the mineral and citrus notes in Champagne. The best Champagne for your oysters depends on what you are seasoning them with.

many oysters in a row

For oysters with lemon we recommend a Champagne Brut, but for oysters with a spicy sauce like Tabasco, Champagne Sec is a better choice.

Lobster and Vintage Champagne

Lobster is another typical dish for New Year's Eve. If you want a truly festive dinner, choose a creamy Vintage Champagne for your lobster. If you prefer a still white wine, Chablis or Albariño / Alvarinho are great choices to go with lobster.

lobster on a plate

Shellfish and Albariño / Alvarinho

A mixed shellfish platter is a great dish when you are celebrating the new year. Choose a dry high-quality white wine with high acidity, crisp minerality and citrus notes to go with your shellfish. An Albariño / Alvarinho is a perfect pairing to mussels, oysters, clams, scallops, crabs and shrimps - basically all types of shellfish. Chablis or other cold-climate Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling are also good choices.

mixed shellfish platter on a table

Shrimp cocktail and Riesling

Why not make a fun and delicious shrimp cocktail for your dinner? This dish is fresh but slightly sweet, and that is why it is best paired with a white wine with a hint of sweetness. Riesling is a great choice and the high acidity of the wine will cut through the fat of the cocktail sauce. A Rosé Champagne is also an excellent choice to your shrimp cocktail.

shrimp cocktail in a glass

Steak and Cabernet Sauvignon

For a steak or other heavy meat dishes, we recommend that you choose a full-bodied red wine. A classic pairing is steak and Cabernet Sauvignon. Also Syrah, Bordeaux, Malbec and many other full-bodied red wines will do well with a steak or other meaty dishes.

grilled meat on open fire

Tips! In our BBQ guide you will find excellent wine pairing suggestions for different types of grilled meats.

Vegetarian and Sauvignon Blanc

There are many great wine pairings for vegetarian foods. Sauvignon Blanc is usually a good pairing choice to many vegetarian dishes, but it depends on the ingredients, cooking method and side dishes. In our Vegetarian food pairing guide you will learn more about how to find the best wine for veggie dishes.

Caviar and Blanc de Blancs Champagne

Caviar is a delicacy that can be served as a starter or as an aperitif for New Year's Eve. The classic pairing for caviar is a fresh and dry Champagne, such as Blanc de Blancs or Non-vintage Champagne.

caviar served on a cracker

Desserts and Sauternes or Port

Sauternes or Port are great wines to serve with many different types of desserts. The sweetness in the wine matches many desserts. Choose Sauternes for desserts with honey and spices, and Port wine for desserts with chocolate or berries. A port is also a great pairing for blue cheese and other pungent cheeses.

You can also serve Champagne together with your dessert, but make sure to choose a sweet Champagne, otherwise your wine will taste sour. A Champagne Doux or Semi-doux will match the sweetness in the food.

lemon dessert served on a plate

Tips! Are you serving cheese after your New Year's dinner? Make sure to read our Wine & Cheese Guide with many excellent wine pairings for different type of cheeses.

Happy New Year!