There's nothing that washes away the taste of the old year and sharpens your appetite for the year to come than sparkling wine. Though true champagne comes only from the Champagne region of France, excellent bubbly is produced all over the world, much of it surprisingly affordable. Which is a good thing, as kicking off 2011 with an empty wallet would really suck.
NV Cristalino Brut ($8). One of the best values on the market is this terrific Spanish sparkler ("cava") that tastes of crisp green apples and grapefruit.
NV Vignal Prosecco ($10). Fans of richer, sweeter bubbly will like this Italian product with its creamy texture and flavors of ripe pears and apricots.
NV Roederer Estate Brut ($20). Clean apple and almond flavors with nutty-toasty nuances make this California sparkler from a noted French producer drink better than its price.
NV Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs ($20). Made mostly with Pinot Noir, this Sonoma County bubbly offers a plush texture and bright cherry-berry flavors that pair well with food.
NV Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label ($40). "Luxury in a glass" is as good a way as any to describe this lush, elegant champagne from one of France's most renowned producers.
NV Taittinger Prestige Rosé ($50). The pastel pink color hints at the subtle floral-raspberry-strawberry flavors of this classic rosé champagne that's both vibrant and delicate.