Omnivore - Wine find of the week: Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux

A cheap sparkler from France.

OK, it's New Year's Eve so I have to do a sparkling wine I guess. Not that that's a great burden - I love sparkling wine and think it's a tragedy that people only drink it on special occasions. I drink it as an anti-depressant. That sounds bad...I don't mean I drink my sorrows away, but when I'm feeling down nothing lifts my mood like a glass of bubbles.

My pick this week contains a history lesson. A little over a century before anyone ever produced sparkling wine in Champagne, some monks  in Limoux produced France's first sparkling wine - blanquette de Limoux.

Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux


Available at the Capital City Liquor Store on Howell Mill Road (I've also seen this for a few dollars less at the Kroger in the Edgewood Shopping Center)

While this wine lacks some of the elegance of Champagne (and those of you who really know your grapes will be able to tell that the climate this far south in France is a tiny bit too warm for truly great sparkling wine), for the money it's one of the best values out there. Toasty and yeasty with a bunch of lemon and green apple on the finish, this beats anything else I've found for under $20.

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