Wine of the Month: The Best $15 Sparkling Wine You’ll Ever Drink

Jason says it’s better than most entry-level $40 Champagnes

February is the month of love, and outside of New Year’s Eve, it’s one of the bigger months for sparkling wine. Bubbles are romantic, bubbles are celebratory, and bubbles are my favorite. “Champagne” is only from the Champagne region of France, and generally you’ll find entry-level Champagnes between $35-$50.

While I was visiting Cork Dork Wine Company in south Minneapolis last week, owner Russ Fay told me about Limoux, an appellation in the Languedoc region, that is the true birthplace of sparkling wines. Like many delicious things, it was a happy accident. A monk in 1531 discovered the wine he had bottled and corked started to bubble, after a second fermentation.

Russ told me he had visited Domaine J. Laurens, and promised me I’d love the J. Laurens le Moulin Blanquette de Limoux. He was right. Truly a terrific wine, if you were to have a daily sparkling wine, I’d get a case of this. Far superior to most entry-level Champagnes.

The wine: J. Laurens le Moulin
Tasting notes: Crisp, fresh, lively, nice acid, aroma leans green apple with enough toasted complexity to make it fun.
The price: $15-$16
Where to find it: Cork Dork, 1010 Washington Wine & Sprits, North Loop Liquors, Glen Lake Liquor, Thomas Liquors, Vine Shop, Zipps, Lake Wine & Spirits, France 44, Bacchus Shoreview, Apollo Main, Savage 1, 99 Bottles.
The Distributor: New France Wine Company

After I posted about this wine on my Instagram, New France reached out to tell me about some of J. Laurens’ other wines. They have a terrific Cremant No 7 (60% Chardonnay, 25% Chenin and 15% Pinot noir). How great would this be for Valentine’s Day with its light pink color? The fruit was very light and delicate—but the Pinot added a roundness and structure that would make this hang nicely with salmon or even a lightly seasoned pork chop. I found this one for $18 at 1010 Washington.

As more of us are drinking at home, I want to help you find a wines and spirits that you’re going to love! Have a wine you think I should write about? Or a wine store you’d like me to profile? Send me an email.