Michel Frères 1997 Crémant de Bourgogne Rosé Cuvée Brut ($15.59)
A dry sparkler but not a Champagne, this delightfully fizzy pink wine is made by the Champagne process (individually fermented in the bottle) in France's Burgundy region. Made from 100 percent Pinot Noir, it's one of the best bubbly bargains around. Clear, pale copper in color, its light, frothy mousse drops back quickly, leaving few visible bubbles in the glass. Delicious subtle red-berry fruit aromas add a distinct edge of cocoa, a common and appealing quality in Pinot-based sparklers. Its rich and creamy mouthfeel shows a prickly edge, carbonation more apparent in the mouth than in the glass. Berry and cocoa flavors mirror the nose, smooth and full, very dry and appropriately tart. Serves well with food, or for sipping alone or raising a holiday toast. US Importer: Wine Markets International Inc., Woodbury, N.Y. (Dec 11, 2003)

FOOD MATCH: Its dry, tart yet rich flavor profile will marry with a broad range of foods; it was first-rate with a simple chicken sautee with a pan sauce of butter and lemon.

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