Few things bring joy like a casual sparkling wine with dinner. A lot of people get irritated when they see bubbly sprayed over a crowd or smashed against the side of a boat. I personally hate seeing sparkling wine served by itself. Oh, it's certainly fun as a party beverage, and it is classy to begin an event while wandering around with a slowly fizzing flute, but the stuff goes so great with so many foods that it's a shame not to take advantage of it. And when you serve it to other people with dinner, it helps reverse the idea that bubbles are just for special occasions.
Fortunately there are lots of well-crafted bargains out there today, including those from less famous regions of France. Such as this little gem from Alsace, way out east next to the German border.
NV Lucien Albrecht Crémant d'Alsace
Brut Blanc de Blancs
100% Pinot Blanc
$20, 12% abv.
This wine has large, abundant bubbles, which combined with the dash of acidity gives it a very crisp and refreshing profile. The nose is floral, with touches of honey and pear. It is bone dry, with just a touch of ginger. This one seems like it would be a great match with spicy Thai food, but I popped it open alongside grilled mahi mahi, tomatoes, green peppers, and a bit of brown rice.
Note: This wine was received as a sample.