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 Filed as : Wine of the WeekWine Recommendations

Vive la Révolution!

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  • Publish Date: Jul 14, 2010

Vive la Révolution!
It's Bastille Day, so bust out the bubbly.

While you could celebrate Bastille Day--which marks France's transition from oppression to freedom--by storming the nearest county jail, instead we suggest you pop open a French bubbly tonight. To truly get in the spirit, try something lesser known and less regally priced than Champagne.

If it's French and fizzy, it's only called Champagne if it's from the region of Champagne. The labels of bubblies from other parts of France usually display the word Crémant followed by the region name--and tend to be wallet-friendly. Here are the basics:

Crémant d'Alsace: The sparkling wines from the Alsace region. They're usually made of the Pinot Blanc grape and can be found for less than $20.

Crémant de Bourgogne: The bubbly of Burgundy (home of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay), these wines also cost about $20. One of the main components is often a grape called Aligoté, which also makes a tasty still white wine.

Crémant de Loire: Usually made of the Chenin Blanc grape, these wines from the Loire Valley often cost a little more ($25 and up) than the above two, but the bright acidity makes for an exceptionally tasty sparkler.

If you only drink American reds yet you have a soft spot for the French, try a California Cabernet-Merlot blend called Bastille ($22), made by California winery De Novo. Nothing says "revolution" like a California wine with a French name.

What's your favorite non-Champagne bubbly? Share it here.

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