From the Birthplace of Bubbly: the Languedoc

Domaine Paul Mas NV Blanc de Blancs Brut Côté Mas Chardonnay $15.99
A shadow of pale straw in color, this wine smells and tastes as delicately as it looks. Foamy on the pour, it develops notes of pear drops and wisteria on the nose. The palate is vaguely reminiscent of blanched hazelnuts and baked pears. It sports a popping, almost tannic texture from the bubbles that is lightly emphasized by this sparkler’s nicely acidic cut. Moderate on the finish, this traditional method, bottle-fermented wine punches above its price band weight. While I’d think of it first to go to with savory, New England-sourced oysters, it’s pure Chardonnay base with impressive freshness that almost seems to refute its Languedoc origin, will blend nicely in a Mimosa, too.
Drink: Through 2018

Domaine Paul Mas NV Blanquette de Limoux Méthode Ancestrale St. Hilaire $15.99
Whoa! This bubbly has a honeysuckle-driven nose with a peach pie palate! It’s not often I taste pure Mauzac, yet this one packs plenty of come-hither attraction that reminds me it’s a great way to finish off a meal. It’s considerably sweet, with 80 grams per liter of sugar...but consider that Coca-Cola has 106 grams per liter of sugar! Besides, this Blanquette has decidedly more acidic cut than either Coca-Cola or the classic Italian wine, Asti, the later of which also has about 7.5% alcohol by volume. Moreover, there’s a more exotic tone to its pineapple and passion fruit expression that’s rather compelling, as well as a Calvados and pear liqueur palate that gives this wine unique appeal. Bright and bubbly with sheer purity and plenty of sophistication, many palates will succumb to this charmer.
Drink: Through 2018