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Nino Franco non-vintage "Rustico" Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ($13.99)
RusticoThis interesting Italian sparkler is a clear straw color, with persistent pinpoint bubbles. Yeasty, cheesy, earthy white fruit aromas feature apples and rising bread dough. Bone-dry and fresh flavor, cooking apples and yeast, earthy and surprisingly complex. U.S. importer: Vin DiVino Ltd., Chicago. (Dec. 20, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Aperitif.

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Gruet non-vintage Brut Blanc de Noirs ($14.99)
GruetDespite the French-sounding name, this is a New Mexico winery that has established a sound national reputation for quality sparkling wine. Pale gold, with a frothy mousse and a lasting stream of bubbles, it's appley and yeasty, with pleasant aromas and a frothy mouthfeel, clean and fresh, simple fruit and tart acidity. More than competitive at this midrange price. (Dec. 19, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: Thick bean-with-ham-hock soup and fresh-baked Italian bread.

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Wine notes in 'shelf-hanger' format:
We publish Wine Lovers' Page tasting reports in the familiar "shelf-hanger" size and format, to make it easy for wine merchants or collectors to print them out, clip and post them where this wine is displayed. We do ask, however, that the Wine Lovers' Page name and URL be left intact, and that these reports be used with the specific wines rated, not different bottlings or vintages.

All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I accept no free samples from wineries or distributors, purchasing all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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