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A. Charbaut et Fils non-vintage Champagne Brut ($24.99)
CharbautA relatively modern (1948) Champagne house, Charbaut devotes much of its production to special-label brands for restaurants and distributors. The wines bottled under its own name are a little harder to find but generally offer good value, as in this Brut. Clear pale gold in color with the requisite lasting pinpoint bubbles, it offers a fresh aroma with an odd but pleasant fresh-dairy scent that evokes peaches and cream. Its flavor is fresh and crisp, mouth-filling citric fruit and zippy acidy; flavors follow the nose in a long, clean finish. U.S. importer: Charbaut America, NYC. (Dec. 24, 2000)

FOOD MATCH: An exceptional partner with a light pre-holiday dinner of potato-and-leek soup with a dash of truffle oil and hot onion-potato bread with a bit of mild Corsican goat cheese on the side.

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