A French Sparkler for Valentine’s Day without the Champagne Price: $9.95

February 13, 2011 Daily DrinkersSpecial Occasions  No comments

Michel Olivier Blanc de Blancs BrutYou pay a tax to drink Champagne.  Plain and simple.  The best sparkling wines come from Champagne but if you are looking for low prices they just can’t be found.  I literally can’t remember a Champagne for under $20 (half bottles don’t count).

So if you are looking for a special sparkling wine for Valentine’s Day with out the special price, look to other regions of France, Spain, Italy and ‘Merica.  This Cremant, a term the French developed for sparkling wine made outside of Champagne, is from the Languedoc region in Southeastern France, where the climate is such that they can produce vintage sparkling wine every year (this one is a 2007).  See, the climate in Champagne is not conducive to grape growing, so most years the Champagne houses produce non-vintage wines which are actually a mix of good and not-so-good vintages, with the goal of consistency.  Vintage wine, or wine labeled with a year, is only produced in the best years, maybe 2-4 per decade.  Well, in southern France, the climate is great for grape growing, so they can make vintage wines every year.

Michel Olivier’s Blanc de Blancs Brut is bright, vibrant and delicious, and at $10 makes a strong argument for drinking sparkling wine at least once a week.  Apple and lemon flavors are complemented by a round, creamy mouthfeel with a little toasty oak- everything you would expect from a nice Champagne, for 1/3 of the price.

The best part: the label is French and looks really classy so, guys, your girlfriend or wife isn’t going to know the difference between this and a $50 bottle of Champagne.  Stop in at LA Wine Co and pick up a bottle for Valentine’s day or order a case online for any occasion (such as celebrating 5 o’clock).  This will keep for a number of years so don’t be shy.  The 1999 vintage is still drinking great!

Buy Here: 2007 Michel Olivier’s Blanc de Blancs Brut $9.95

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