December 28, 2005

Charles Heidsieck 1996 Champagne Brut Rosé

(Imported by Rémy Amérique, New York; about $75)

It's cliché, but there's nothing like sparkling wine to toast in the New Year. My choice for this New Year's Eve is Charles Heidsieck's 1996 Champagne Brut Rosé.

Its blush of color warms the room; its fresh, wild strawberry flavors and tiny, fine bubbles elevate any moment to a special occasion. Light enough to drink on its own, it's also flavorful enough to stand up to midnight cotechino and lentils, or whatever your good-luck dish is. And at $75, it's a splurge - might as well start the year off with a prosperous feel - yet, compared with other rosé Champagnes of the same quality, it's a terrific deal. You might want to snap up some extra bottles; it's so youthful at 10 years of age that it could mark New Year's for the next decade.

This review first appeared in the Denver Post.

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