There’s nothing quite like the sound of a popping champagne bottle, especially at midnight on New Year’s Eve. While some may have put off shopping for their bubbles to bring in the New Year due to the Aztec calendar, WineTable writer Robin Salls was on a mission to taste as many as she could, just in case. Now here's the results of her tasting spree. What corks will you be popping for New Year's?

How Champagne is Made
By: Maggie Bernat Smith
Posted: Dec. 26, 2012

Champagne is the only region in the world where the wine breaks all the rules of what we consider the best, such as wines made from a single estate, from a single vintage, where what happens in the cellar is noninterventionist. Champagne is the epitome of a blend. It’s a blend of grapes (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier), it’s a blend of regions within Champagne, and it’s a blend of years. But the winemaker, called a master blender, is considered to hold the most coveted and respected position in the Champagne region.

Once the nectar of the wealthy and the symbol of luxury, the essence of finesse and grace is now thankfully accessible to all of us. We drink bubbly wine to celebrate the biggest events in our lives, to ring in the New Year and to make an already wonderful event even better. But understanding Champagne vs. other sparkling wines is still misunderstood. Why would you pay a starting price of, say $50, when you can buy a bottle of Prosecco for $8?

What does wine add to family celebration? It captures memories through the senses. WineTable lifestyle writers William and Natalie Myers remember their best Thanksgiving as a blend of family, love and wine.