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Whether you’re looking for an affordable bottle or an extra-special vintage, these bubbly options will make your winter sparkle.
While true Champagne (from a demarcated area in France and made under strict regulations) ranges from non-vintage brands (many around $50 a bottle) to the prestige variety (for well more than $200 a bottle), there are excellent choices offering good value throughout the spectrum.
Non-Vintage Blancs & Blancs de Noirs
NV Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut ($52)
Made from a blend of wine from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier grapes from the current harvest, as well as “reserve wines” (from prior harvests), this wine reveals a bouquet and taste of apples and vanilla, with touches of fresh lemon in its finish. It mates well with most seafood and chicken dishes. Find it at Best Wine Purveyors in Pleasantville, Vine & Co in Bedford Hills, and Stew Leonard’s Wines & Spirits in Yonkers.
NV Ayala Brut Majeur ($48)
This aromatic bubbly, made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, has a bouquet and taste of ripe apples and honey and is ideal to accompany shellfish, especially shrimp and scallops. Find it at Aries Wine & Spirits in White Plains and Larchmont Wine & Liquor in Larchmont.
NV Tattinger Brut Reserve ($55)
A delicate sparkler made from a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier, this Brut has a bouquet and taste of ripe peaches and apples and notes of toast in its smooth finish. It matches most hors d’ouevres, especially smoked salmon, olive tapenade on toast, and even hummus. Find it at Westchester Wine Warehouse in White Plains and Zachys in Scarsdale.
NV Champagne Bollinger Brut Rosé ($85)
This fragrant bubbly, made from primarily Pinot Noir harvested from top-echelon vineyards, has a bouquet and taste of ripe cherries, strawberries, and spice. It makes an excellent toasting wine, as well as accompaniment to lobster, sushi, and grilled salmon. Find it at Station Plaza Wine and Spirits in Bronxville and Bedford Wine Merchants in Bedford.
2010 Dom Perignon ($220)
Made from a blend of top-echelon Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, this elegant bubbly has a bouquet and taste of melons and pineapple, with notes of orange in its smooth finish. Enjoy it alone as a toast or with shrimp, scallops, or roasted duck. Find it at several area shops, including Rye Brook Wine & Spirit Shop in Rye Brook and Suburban Wine & Spirits in Yorktown Heights.
Krug Grande Cuvée ($220)
A blend of barrel-fermented Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier harvested from more than 100 different vineyards, this elegant bubbly shows a bouquet and memorable taste of pears, brioche, and orange zest that mates well with veal, lamb, grilled steaks, and salmon. Find it at Vine & Co in Bedford Hills, Dodd’s Liquor City in Millwood, and Art of Wine in Pleasantville.