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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