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Marilyn’s Blog

Good Champagne is getting more affordable

From left: Duc de Romet Brut Prestige, De Conciliis Selim, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve, Scarpetta Timido, Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut

http://www.wsj.com/articles/your-holiday-sipping-strategy-champagne-cocktails-1418407720

From the Wall Street Journal

From left: Duc de Romet Brut Prestige, De Conciliis Selim, Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve, Scarpetta Timido, Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, STYLING BY ANNE CARDENAS

Duc de Romet Brut Prestige, $30

“We use this a lot at [New York’s] Dear Irving because it’s really versatile and a bargain for a Champagne,” said bartender Meaghan Dorman. As a sipper, it provides notes of honey and apple and a pleasant chalky minerality.

De Conciliis Selim, $21

The problem with most Proseccos when it comes to cocktails is that they’re a little too sweet. Joe Campanale, co-owner and beverage director of New York’s Epicurean Group, recommends this fresh, lively sparkler as an alternative—it’s made using the same method, but is much less fruit-forward.

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Réserve, $30

Lynnette Marrero of DrinksAt6 consulting likes this pleasantly balanced bubbly. It delivers an aroma of pear and apple, and delicate bubbles that seem to go on forever.

Scarpetta Timido, $27

Try this one in any cocktail that calls for a sparkling rosé, or if you simply want to give your cocktail a more festive hue. “It’s dry, but with bright red fruit flavors,” said Mr. Campanale.

Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs, $39

Mr. Campanale often goes for this as a substitute for Champagne. “It has the same complex yeasty notes and bright acidity,” he said.

Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut, $12

“A great choice, as its dryness plays well with the sweetness of liqueurs and syrups,” said Ms. Marrero. Plus, you can’t beat the price. Buy a case and work on your mixology skills.