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Wine Advisor Express:
Leftover Champagne?

It's New Year's Eve, five seconds until midnight. The ball drops, the cork pops, and you and your sweetie enjoy a taste of a truly special Champagne.

And then it's five minutes past midnight, you're tired and full and ready to go to bed, and there you sit with two-thirds of a bottle of pricey wine that you don't want to waste. You try to jam the cork back into the bottle, but it won't fit ... sparkling-wine corks expand when they're relieved of pressure, and you can't squeeze them back into shape.

What's a frugal wine lover to do?

At the risk of sounding like a cut-rate Martha Stewart, here's a simple solution: Wrap the business end of your bottle with a double layer of plastic wrap, and hold it in place with a rubber band. Then put it in the refrigerator. A bit of carbon dioxide will build up in the bottle - but not strongly enough to pop off the plastic wrap - and this, plus the cold, will do a surprisingly good job of holding the wine for at least a couple of days. It will eventually oxidize and go flat, so it's best to finish it up soon. But it's a nice way to extend the holiday into the New Year, and a whole lot better than pouring an expensive wine down the drain.

Here's a delicious artisanal Champagne in the rose category, a Pinot-based beauty that's crisp and dry - a far cry from White Zinfandel.

Egly-Ouriet Champagne Egly-Ouriet Brut Rose ($34.99)
Clear bright copper color, with a stream of exceptionally small bubbles lasts and lasts. Apples and toast mingle in an appealing scent; crisp fruit and cocoa notes enhance its creamy, mouth-filling flavor. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati. (Dec. 27, 2001)

FOOD MATCH: Excellent with a light but luxurious dish crafted to match - spaghetti tossed with butter and red salmon caviar.

I inadvertently listed the wrong price for yesterday's tasting, the Las Brisas 2000 Rueda. It was $6.99 in this market, a dollar less than reported and thus an even better bargain.

This is Wine Advisor Express, daily edition of The 30 Second Wine Advisor, distributed Tuesdays through Fridays. For archives of previous articles, and to read more about wine, visit Wine Lovers' Page,

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Friday, Dec. 28, 2001
Copyright 2001 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

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