Here we go again. New Year's Eve, got a party to go to, forgot to buy booze; what to do? Well, it's supposed to be the start of a new age, so we'd better get bubbly. But I am not going to batter the plastic and have my credit card dented by huge costs for extremely expensive French champagne. There are a lot of alternatives. Drop into Wellcome and if you can find your way past the ridiculous decorations and the soap powder and other stuff you don't want, you find a wall of wine. Peer down at the bottom shelf (why?) and you will see some nicely-wrapped foil-headed bottles bearing the Andrew Garrett label. This stuff costs $69, it tastes lively and exciting, it brings a dash of joy to the big night and even if you wake up with a hangover, you're not going to be bankrupt. What's more, it's a really nice sparkling wine. The classical pinot noir and chardonnay grapes for this come from McLaren Vale and Padthaway in South Australia. It's made for the well-established firm of Andrew Garrett by a fellow called Phil Reschke, who has a reputation as a mean man with the bubbly. This is joyful, happy, bouncy wine; isn't that how you want to feel as you chant in the new year? For my mind, you're probably going to be better off buying an extra bottle and hiding it in your refrigerator. After the big party night for the millennium, you will have a head like a boiled turnip and a well-chilled glass of good bubbly is a good way to start the recovery process. If you want to do something unusual, you could for the same price pick up a bottle of the deep red sparkling burgundy. This is made from shiraz grapes (and they don't come any better than from McLaren) and is basically a scarlet bubbly. It's a nice drinking wine and can cause a lot of chatter. Have fun.