Some thoughts on bubbly for the New Year from around the Internet (and not a Veuve Clicquot recommendation among them):
? Sparkling wine advice: One of the best — perhaps the best — primers on bubbly comes from Tim McNally at New Orleans magazine. It's so good, in fact, that I'm going to steal much of it for use here. Writes Tim: "Never allow the wine to flow out of the bottle after opening. It ?s a terrible waste." Is it any wonder I think so much of the post? Tim includes Champagne history, advice on opening a bottle, some recommendations, and even his analysis concerning the number of bubbles in a bottle of bubbly.
? Value-oriented Champagne: Yes, the real stuff — sparkling wine from the Champagne region of France — is expensive, but that has not deterred my pal Dave McIntyre from looking for bottles that offer the most for your dollar. Dave's finds are here and here; availability may be a problem away from the East Coast, but these are wines worth looking for. The Jose Michel (the second link) sounds especially good.
? Price-conscious selections: Fred Tasker in the Miami Herald offers 11 bubblies to try, and only one costs more than $27. Which, for sparkling, is impressive — even by the Wine Curmudgeon's standards. The Woodbridge extra dry, which is only $10, is an intriguing choice, and should please anyone who wants something sweeter but is intimidated by the whole sparkling wine thing.