Tiny Bubbles

Champagne has long been the wine of the New Year. It’s a talisman to welcome peace and prosperity. It is a hope that like will follow like—that the coming year will mimic the satisfaction and joy that only a glass of the world’s most fussed-over wine can bring. If all that sounds expensive, fear not: there are great glasses of bubbly to be had right now at every price point. So fill a glass and raise a toast. If 2012 is as delicious as any of these wines, it will be a very good year.
 

Baron de Seillac, Brut Blanc de Blancs Vinde Table Français, NV

An unusual southern French blend of Ugni Blanc and Colombard which unite in a sprightly, delicious, lemon-lime way, this wine is so refreshing, so clean, so good it’s hard not to gulp it. Available: Solo Vino, 517 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-602-9515, solovinowines.com ($12)
 

Gérard Bertrand Cremant de Limoux, 2008

A careful spender’s Veuve Clicquot, this wine offers the same balance, evenness, and finesse that you’d find in that famed bottle—but at a fraction of the cost. In fact, this might even be better, with more energy and nerve, and a mineral essence at its core that supports a nice tart orange-blossom finish. Available: The Cellars, multiple locations, including Eagan: 2113 Cliff Rd., 651-405-6681, thecellars.com ($19)
 

Quattro Mani Franciacorta Brut, NV

What were you doing three years ago? The Chardonnay in this northern Italian sparkler was just heading into a bottle to age. The well-integrated toast, vanilla, and mushroom qualities that result from this long, long aging are delightful to discover, and utterly elegant. Available: Excelsior Vintage, 400 Hwy. 7, Excelsior, 952-401-0346, excelsiorvintage.com ($20)
 

Laurent-Perrier Brut Rosé Champagne Cuvée Rosé, NV

Pure, drinkable romance, this svelte pink beauty has a body that’s both lithe and taut. But fill a glass with it, and you’ll find that this Champagne giggles gorgeously, bewitching you with its strawberry-rhubarb laughter. Available: France 44, 4351 France Ave. S., Mpls., 612-925-3252, france44.com ($100)

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