Vino: Mumm Brut Cordon Rouge NV

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Name: Mumm Brut Cordon Rouge NV Grape:Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier & Chardonnay Region: Champagne Price: $26.79 to $30.99

Tired of that orange label Champagne? Well, you are in luck because Mumm offers a classic and more sophisticated alternative for about the same price.

Fans of the movie Casablanca will remember a bottle of Mumm sitting atop Rick's piano as he romanced Ilsa.

This is appropriate as Mumm has long held a reputation of excellence and quality. With French roots dating back to the 12th century, the Mumm family has been in the wine business for the past two-hundred years, that's nearly as long as the United States has been a nation!

The Cordon Rouge is a brut, which means that it is unsweetened and very dry. A blend of the three legally allowed Champagne varietals: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay, the wine was fresh, elegant and powerful with brilliant acidity and a perfect balance. Last night's glass reminded me of lemon chiffon, bright, refreshing and wonderfully sunny.

Champagne pairs well with most foods, is classically paired with oysters and excellent as an aperitif or a toast between friends.

Stores: 67 Wine $28.99 (179 Colombus btwn 67th & 68th St.), Astor Wines & Spirits $28.99 (399 Lafayette @ 4th St.), PJ Wine $26.79 (4898 Broadway (between 204th and 207th Streets), America's Wine Shop $30.99 (398 3rd Avenue @ 27th St.)

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