What to drink: Justin Monmousseau Sancerre

Remarkably fragrant, with aromas of lemon, lime, pink grapefruit and a hint of tangerine, Justin Monmousseau’s Sancerre is 100% Sauvignon Blanc and equally vibrant. I recommend it with some grilled artichoke (lime butter on the side) and a fresh catch of red snapper softly seasoned with tandoori powder, olive oil and lemon. The savory, peppiness of the Indian spices brings out a unique zesty characteristic in the Sancerre.

Ring in the New Year with new bubbly

Wine consumers and aficionados alike are left with one burning question at the end of December: What should I celebrate the new year with? Most likely, wine drinkers turn to their familiar standbys, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you’re looking for something that’s just as good but perhaps a little different, you’ll be excited to know that there is sparkling French wine that goes beyond Champagne and sparkling Italian wine that goes beyond Spumante.

This New Year’s Eve or anytime this month is an ideal moment to sample some new sparkling wines. The following selections are from Germany, France and Italy.

- Hansen Lauer Brut Riesling 2007 (Germany)

The 2007 Hansen-Lauer Brut Riesling is a unique bubbly that has similarities to both French Champagne and Italian Prosecco. The aromas display fine notes of wheat and crisp breadiness, which Champagne often demonstrates, while the flavors have enjoyable fruit notes of peach, lemon zest and grapefruit, that are typical for most Prosecco.

Made from 100% Riesling, this Brut bubbly is a solid performer whose light yeasty bouquet also intermingles with a powdery aroma of fresh cotton. It’s great for first time sparkling wine drinkers who want something refreshing as well as experienced admirers of bubbly who want something unique.

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