Bubbly toast: Tips to enjoy a year’s worth of champagne
The half-dozen bottles on this list will make your celebrations — annual or daily — quite satisfying. A few are in limited supply.And four will cost you $40 or less. (The scale: three stars, exceptional; two stars, excellent.) Prices are approximate. Check wine searcher. com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.
Pierre Paillard Brut Rose Bouzy
Three stars Champagne, France, $53 The salmon-tinted fizz shoots a beam of red-berry flavors across the palate, as if the bubbles are eager to escape the glass. Then its long and satisfying finish keeps it firmly anchored earthward, in Champagne.
Jean Vesselle Rose Demi-Sec Friandise
Three stars Champagne, France, $48 This ever-so-slightly sweet rose is fruitier than most champagne, yet not as fruity as New World sparkling typically gets. Don’t think of it as sweet. (Demi-sec literally means “half-dry” but is often rather sweet.) The slight residual sugar is kept in check by the lively acidity, and this wine would be a terrific partner to Asian cuisines or light fruit desserts.
Charles de Casanove Cazanove Brut
Two and a half-stars Champagne, France, $30 (greatvalue) Wow. What a terrific champers forthe money.It’s an excellent introduction to what makes champagne special, and those already familiar with the genre will appreciate its sophistication. Widely available, it’s the value find of the year.
Thierry Triolet Grande Reserve Brut
Two and a half-stars Champagne, France, $40 (greatvalue) Toasty and rich, this is a nice champagne to have with medium-weight poultry or fish dishes.
Roland Champion Cuveed’ Aramis Brut
Two and a half-stars Champagne, France, $35 (greatvalue) This is a powerful champagne, showing the red-berry fruit of its red grapes — pinot meunier and pinot noir— and the chalky minerality of the region. Delightful, and a terrific value.
R. Dumont & Fils Brut
Two stars Champagne, France, $35 (greatvalue) From the southern part of Champagne, where most of the grapes are sold to the major houses, comes this beautifully made brut that offers true champagne character at a rather low price, making it attractive for restaurants to serve by the glass. — Dave McIntyre