TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)—Bern’s Steak House in Tampa is known around the world for its massive wine cellar. It is home to more than a half a million bottles, hundreds of which are sparkling with festive bubbles.
“Napoleon had one of the greatest lines for champagne: ‘In victory, you deserve champagne. In defeat, you need it.’ Champagne has always been around victory, parties and excitement,” said Eric Renaud, the senior sommelier at Bern’s Steak House.
Champagne is perfect for ringing in the New Year, but those bubbles can make a dent in your budget.
“Both Spain and Italy have some really, really great sparkling wines at a fraction of the cost of traditional champagne,” said Renaud.
He suggests Cava from Spain or Prosecco from Italy if you want to save money and add some sparkle to your celebration.
Once you have your bottle in hand, resist the urge to pop the cork.
“People will shake and pop and you will have this big great explosion and the champagne comes bubbling out. What you are doing is losing a lot of your bubbles. A really classic opening of champagne should almost be the sound of a kiss,” said Renaud.
One bottle of champagne or sparkling wine equals about five glasses, so if you are throwing a party this New Year’s Eve, make sure you have enough so everyone can toast 2017.
After New Year’s Eve festivities, Renaud wants to remind people to never drink and drive and to always plan a safe and sober ride home.