Vino: Good Sparkling Wine Values

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Most of us will drink more Champagne and sparkling wine between now and New Year's then the rest of the year combined. When you think about it, the effervescent nature of sparkling wine is a social butterfly, one that delightfully mingles with holiday parties. Champagne, sparkling wine coming only from the Champagne region in France, can be expensive. The land of Champagne is spectacular for creating beautiful sparkling wines, but it has a tempermental climate prone to frost. Another cost factor is the labor intensive Methode Champenoise style of making Champagne, while it greatly increases the flavors and complexity of the wine; it also greatly raises the price. While delicious, the less intensive wines of Cava, Prosecco and Spumante will never achieve the same complexities found in a truly great bottle of Champagne.

With this in mind here are a few readily available, delicious values to take to your next holiday party: Boyer Brut Blanc de Blancs, $9.95 (Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St.), made entirely from Chardonnay grapes, crisp, dry and a surprising value.

Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne Grande Reserve NV, $11.99, Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St.): a great, rare sparkling wine made in Burgundy, typically used as an aperitif.

Roederer Estate Brut NV, $15.99 to $18.95, Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St., America's Wine Shop (398 3rd Avenue @ 27th St.) & Morrell & Company (One Rockeffeller Plaza). This California Sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley.

Iron Horse Classic Brut NV, $25.99, Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St.) & Zachy's (16 East Parkway, Scarsdale, NY). A blend of 60% Pinot Noir & 40% Chardonnay from Sonoma County's Green Valley.

Nicolas Feuillatte Blue Label Brut NV, $24.99, Sherry-Lehmann (679 Madison btwn 60th & 61st St.) & Morrell & Company, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay from Champagne.

Cheers!

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