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December 2007

December 31, 2007

Bottle of Taittinger Cuvée Prestige Rosé

Taittinger Cuvée Prestige Rosé NV
Champagne, France

Yes, Champagne is all about celebration, and guess what? December 31st is one big moment to celebrate. So get together with your best friends and pop one of these rosés. The bottle is quite festive, and what’s inside is really, really good Champagne, at a price that’s not totally astronomical. This fine mousse with its delicate bubbles will add elegance to any occasion. Full-fruited and aromatic, this cuvée includes grapes from no less than fifteen crus of the Champagne region. Smell the intensity of its flavors. Look at its cheering cherry-pink color—the tint is due to the fact that a small part of the blend (55% Pinot Noir, 30% Pinot Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Meunier) is vinified as red wine. Sip it all evening and into the night with or without food. Cheers and best wishes for 2008!

Rating: 15/20
Price: $50

Other Sparkling Wines we've tasted
Check out our guide to France
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December 24, 2007

Bottle of Oriel 365 Sparkline Wine

Oriel 365
Valdobbiadene, Italy

Winemaker Edoardo Trevisiol has created Oriel 365 to remind us to celebrate each day of the year, and we think one great way to celebrate is with a glass of this light sparkling wine. Grown on the steep, southern slopes in the Valdobbiadene region of Italy, the Prosecco grapes used to make Oriel 365 were hand-picked before being gently pressed and fermented. According to Italian law, Prosecco must be created using a specific method where secondary fermentation is done in large containers instead of individual bottles, which results in a structured wine with small bubbles. This particular Prosecco displays aromas of honeydew melon and white peach. On the palate, it features flavors of fresh pear and white peach, followed by a mineral finish. This wine is ready to be imbibed now, and it can be enjoyed as an apéritif, or, for a decadent holiday meal, enjoy Oriel 365 with a surf and turf dinner.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $20

Other Sparkling Wines we've tasted
Check out our guide to Italy
For more information, visit

December 17, 2007

Bottle of Mumm Napa Blanc de Noirs sparkling wine

Mumm Napa Blanc de Noirs
Napa Valley, California

While they won't be doing any of the shopping for you this holiday season, the winemakers at Mumm Napa can help weary, thin-walleted shoppers stay in the spirit. Their Blanc de Noirs, or "white of blacks," is a versatile sparkling wine that will please both red and white wine lovers. A blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, the Blanc de Noirs delivers the soft fruit flavors of a Pinot joined by structure that's characteristic of a Chardonnay...all for just $20. To keep this sparkling wine light in color, the red grapes are crushed, and then skins are carefully removed before blending with the white wine. The pale pink result will be a hit at any holiday dinner party. While the Blanc de Noirs works beautifully as an apéritif, it also transitions easily to the main meal, meaning guests can carry their glasses to the dinner table and enjoy their bubbly with whatever is on the menu.

Rating: 13.5/20
Price: $20

Other Sparkling Wines we've tasted
Check out our guide to Wine Country
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December 10, 2007

Bottle of Martini & Rossi Prosecco

Martini & Rossi Prosecco
Veneto, Italy

This sparkling white wine will treat sippers to a well-balanced beverage that shows great versatility and can pair well with anything from spicy Indian curry to traditional baked ham. The grapes used to make Martini & Rossi Prosecco were grown and harvested with great care from the fruitful Veneto region of Northern Italy. This delicate-bodied prosecco was made in the “frizzante” style, resulting in a refreshing, lightly bubbly beverage that tickles the tongue and treats the taste buds. Similar flavors and aromas are found on the nose and palate, with senses being treated to hints of apple and peach. It has a pronounced acidity paired with a softer mouth feel. Martini & Rossi Prosecco can be served with spicy appetizers, as its slight sweetness acts as a great counter to the strong flavors. Its light bubbles also serve as a palate cleanser, making it a good match for meals, from the first bite until dessert is done.

Rating: 12.5/20
Price: $13

Other Sparkling Wines we've tasted
Check out our guide to Italy
For more information, visit

December 3, 2007

Champagne Moutardier Carte d'Or Brut NV

Champagne Moutardier Carte d'Or Brut NV
Champagne, France

A newcomer to the U.S. market, Champagne Moutardier offers a good value for this complex bubbly with nice color and depth. It is a blend of Pinot Meunier (90%) and Chardonnay, similar to the much pricier Krug, with its oak aging. A great golden color greets you, followed by nuttiness, yeastiness, dried figs and biscuit. A fine mousse with consistent bubbles is there to charm you without irritation. In the mouth, you’ll feel a balanced structure, some sweetness, some acidity and a fair finish. Englishman Jonathan Saxby, who married Elisabeth Moutardier, runs the operation, which was started by Moutardier’s parents, Lucette and Jean, in 1960. The family has been connected with Le Breuil since 1650.  The Carte d’Or bottle makes a perfect apéritif, but we bet that it can also withstand foods, making it a perfect partner for the upcoming holiday season.

Rating: 14.5/20
Price: $32

Other Sparkling Wines we've tasted
Check out our guide to Champagne, France
For more information, visit



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