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Sparkling Wines and Savory Galettes for New Year's Eve

Ring in 2013 with an array of easy-to-adapt pies, plus 16 Champagnes and other bubblies

Laurie Woolever
Posted: December 21, 2012

The end of yet another year is around the corner, time to lay in provisions for New Year's Eve. Whether you're having a crowd or a small dinner party, you can't go wrong with a galette, whose filling can be adjusted to suit your guests' diverse preferences. Follow the recipe below to make one with sweet caramelized onions, one with kale and ricotta, and one with creamy mozzarella and ham. Serve warm from the oven or at room temperature, sliced, with olives, nuts, fresh fruit and plenty of wine—be sure to consult our list of recommended, recently rated Champagnes and other sparkling wines, below.

Savory Galette, Three Ways

• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 3/4 cup semolina flour (you may substitute all-purpose or whole wheat flour)
• 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
• 2 sticks (1 cup) chilled salted butter, cut into small cubes, plus 3 tablespoons
• 4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
• 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rings
• 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
• 1/2 bunch curly kale, stems removed, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
• 3 ounces best-quality sliced ham
• 4 ounces best-quality fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
• 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
• Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse together the all-purpose and semolina flours and the salt, just to combine. Add the cubed butter and pulse until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add the water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse just until the dough comes together. Form into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. You may make and refrigerate the dough up to 24 hours in advance of assembly.

2. In a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan, heat 2 of the remaining tablespoons of butter over medium heat until just foaming. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and, after about 30 seconds, half of the sliced onions. Turn and toss to coat the onions with the butter and oil, and cook for two minutes, then stir in the remaining onions, stirring and tossing to coat and evenly distribute. Season the onions lightly with salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are brown and caramelized. Do not rush this process, which can take about 30 minutes to achieve deeply caramelized onions. Once they're cooked through, remove the onions from the pan and let cool to room temperature. You may wish to drain the onions in a fine-mesh sieve to eliminate any excess oil and butter.

3. While the onions cook, you can cook the kale. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the chopped kale and stir and toss to coat it evenly with the oil and garlic. You may wish to sprinkle a bit of water in the pan, which will steam the kale and speed up the cooking process. Season lightly with salt and continue to cook until the kale is tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool to room temperature.

4. Heat the oven to 400° F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the dough into three equally-sized pieces. Roll one piece out to 1/4-inch thickness—it should be about 10 to 12 inches in diameter—and transfer carefully to the baking sheet. Arrange the ham in the center of the dough in slightly overlapping fashion. Top with the diced mozzarella, and fold the edges of the dough inward to form a rim.

5. Roll out the next piece of dough in the same fashion and transfer to the baking sheet. Cover the surface of the dough with the ricotta cheese. Season well with salt and pepper, then top with the cooked kale. Fold the edges of the dough in. Roll out the last piece of dough and transfer to the baking sheet (or use a second baking sheet, also lined with parchment, if necessary). Cover the surface with the caramelized onions and fold in the edges. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the cooking. The dough should be golden brown and tender. Let cool for five minutes, then slice with a pizza cutter or serrated knife and serve. Serves 4 to 6, or more if part of a cocktail buffet.

RECOMMENDED SPARKLING WINES

Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good wines from recently rated releases. More wines can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.

PIPER-HEIDSIECK Brut Champagne NV Score: 93 | $50
Elegant, with rich base notes of toasted brioche and smoke adding depth, this integrates finely honed acidity, detailed texture and flavors of black cherry puree, apple tarte Tatin, kumquat and grated ginger. Provides a creamy, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2022. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 50,000 cases made.—A.N.

BÉRÈCHE & FILS Brut Champagne Réserve NV Score: 92 | $42
Firm and sleek, with crisp acidity structuring flavors of Gala apple, raisin bread, quince paste and almond cream. Well-knit, with a fine bead and fresh finish. Disgorged September 2011. Drink now through 2017. 65,000 cases made.—A.N.

JACQUART Brut Champagne Mosaïque NV Score: 92 | $37
Rich, featuring an undertow of smoke and roasted nut mixing with flavors of black currant, lemon meringue pie and ground ginger, with a hint of honeycomb. Refined in texture and framed by well-knit acidity, with a lasting, mineral-tinged finish. Drink now through 2020. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. 125,000 cases made.—A.N.

BARON-FUENTÉ Brut Champagne Grande Réserve NV Score: 91 | $30
Elegant and mouthwatering, this shows fine balance and texture, supporting a subtle range of peach, blanched almond, biscuit, mineral and light spice. Drink now through 2020. 40,000 cases made.—A.N.

ROEDERER ESTATE Brut Anderson Valley NV Score: 91 | $23
Sleek and impeccably focused and balanced, with floral apple, cinnamon and anise aromas and crisp yet supple lemon tart, cherry and spicy hazelnut flavors. Drink now through 2015. 80,000 cases made.—T.F.

DOMAINE CARNEROS Brut Carneros 2008 Score: 90 | $27
A festive bubbly, with pretty floral cherry and lemon notes that lead to round, supple flavors of pear, raspberry and spicy vanilla. Drink now. 35,000 cases made.—T.F.

GLORIA FERRER Blanc de Noirs Carneros NV Score: 90 | $20
Fun and festive, with floral raspberry and graham cracker aromas leading to crisp and succulent lemon and strawberry flavors. A reliable value in California bubbly. Drink now. 28,114 cases made.—T.F.

GRUET Brut American NV Score: 89 | $15
Focused and richly styled, with spicy tropical fruit aromas and appealing baked apple, cinnamon and herb notes. Drink now. 40,000 cases made.—T.F.

J Cuvée 20 Russian River Valley NV Score: 89 | $28
Sleek and crisp, featuring floral pear and spicy yeast aromas, with vibrant flavors of lemon, quince and fresh ginger. Drink now. 31,500 cases made.—T.F.

BELLENDA Brut Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore San Fermo 2011 Score: 88 | $19
Well-cut acidity is finely knit, with refined texture and notes of apple blossom, dried apricot, almond and candied pineapple. Features a lightly spiced finish. Drink now through 2014. 25,000 cases made.—A.N.

DOMAINE CHANDON Brut Blanc de Noirs California NV Score: 88 | $22
Creamy vanilla and raspberry aromas lead to appealing flavors of strawberry and spicy lemon in this fun glass of bubbles. Drink now. 80,000 cases made.—T.F.

MUMM NAPA Brut Napa Valley Prestige NV Score: 88 | $22
Festive and lively, with tropical fruit and spicy vanilla aromas and supple flavors of raspberry, lemon and spicy yeast. Drink now. 144,500 cases made.—T.F.

SCHARFFENBERGER Brut Mendocino County Excellence NV Score: 88 | $20
This crisp and lively bubbly offers appealing cinnamon, apple and ginger aromas that lead to supple flavors of citrus, toffee and spice. Drink now. 25,000 cases made.—T.F.

DOMAINE STE. MICHELLE Brut Columbia Valley NV Score: 87 | $12
A hint of ginger accents the grapefruit flavors at the core of this light, fresh wine. The texture shows a delicate sparkle. Drink now. 191,540 cases made.—H.S.

KORBEL Brut California NV Score: 87 | $13
Lively aromas of citrus and cinnamon roll lead to crisp flavors of apple, tropical fruit and spiced nuts in this fun bubbly. Drink now. 850,000 cases made.—T.F.

SOLIGO Extra Dry Prosecco Col de Mez NV Score: 87 | $16
Bright, with a lively bead and a pleasing mix of ripe peach, mandarin orange, ground ginger and mineral notes. Shows good balance. Drink now. 20,000 cases made.—A.N.

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