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Narsai David Wine Review: French Sparkling Wine That Isn't Champagne

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) - There's a lot of bubbly that comes from France that is not champagne.

Champagne, of course, must be produced exclusively in the Champagne region of France and use any combination of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier grapes.

But there are delicious sparkling wines produced in other areas of France. The bubbly from Burgandy is called Crémant de Bourgogne under the rules of appellation.

KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David:

The Jean-Claude Boisset family, which has been a really important shipper in the Burgandy region for so many years, has a label here in the United States, Louis Bouillot, that features French sparkling wine made much the same as champagne.

And these splendid wines produced in Nuits-Saint-George since 1877 cost far less than champagne.

The Perle d'Aurore Rosé Brut has a charming, coppery pink color made of 80 percent pinot noir, 20 percent gamay that's been bottle fermented for 24 months. Although it's listed at $19.99, you can frequently find it for $14 or $15.

The Perle de Vigne "Grande Réserve" Brut, made of pinot noir, chardonnay, gamay and aligoté, also retails for $19.99, but is generally available for $14 or $15.

And finally, the Perle d'Or, made exclusively of partially aged pinot noir and chardonnay like a real champagne, is $29, and frequently available for under $25.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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