We know, we know, it’s not Champagne unless it comes from that illustrious province in northeast France bearing the same name.
But what if it’s made using the same traditional methods that are required in Champagne? And froths up with the same delicate mousse (that’s fancy Champagne-speak for the way the bubbles feel in your mouth)? And tastes of the distinctive terroir of which the winemaker is duly proud? And, most importantly, is just what you need in your flute when the clock strikes 12?
We think this Blanc de Blanc Reserve made from some of the oldest vines on Long Island’s North Fork is pretty darn close to the genuine article. Made with 100% Pinot Blanc grapes, it’s aged on its lees (meaning, dead – but no less tasty! – yeast cells) for at least three years.
Wine geek technicalities aside, these bubbles offer all that’s clean and bracing about a fine Champagne, but with more exuberance (think candied lemon peel, Bosc pear and jazz hands) – plus a friendlier price tag.
And as a good sparkling wine should do, this one from Lieb Cellars can dress up or dress down, taking both caviar blinis and pigs in a blanket out for a twirl without missing a beat. If that doesn’t sound like a New Year’s Eve bash, we don’t know what does.
We’re believers in celebrating life’s moments, big and small, so think about this wine as an equally appropriate way to toast the happy couple, the dog’s graduation from obedience school and the New Year.