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WINE | Wine of thw Week

Billecart-Salmon Champagne Brut "Reserve" ($19.99)

November 21, 1996|S. IRENE VIRBILA

Champagne lovers don't need the excuse of the holidays to celebrate with a bottle of brut, especially if it's Billecart-Salmon's fine reserve, which stands head and shoulders above most Champagne houses' basic bubbly at basically the same price. The current model is a blend of two very good vintages, the '88 and the '89. The texture is crisp; the nose has hints of citrus and hazelnuts. It's the color of old gold and, when poured into a Champagne flute, it forms a pearly halo of fine bubbles. Drink it on its own at the drop of a hat or pair it with something rich and unctuous, like a slab of terrine de foie gras on brioche.

And for a really special occasion, consider Billecart-Salmon's exquisite Champagne rose.

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