Visions of bubblies dancing in your head? Not to worry — you don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot. One of my all-time favorites is the Cremant D’Alsace from Domaine Barmes-Buecher. Francois (Barmes) and Genevieve (Buecher) started their winery in 1985 with land that had been in the family since the 17th century, and in 1998 they were certified biodynamic.
In 2011 Francois died suddenly, so his children Sophie and Maxime had to jump in to help make the wines with Genevieve. All of their wines are spectacular, but I chose the Cremant because it comes in at just under my $20 price limit. It’s a blend of Auxerrois, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. No enzymes or yeasts are introduced, no sugar is added (zero dosage) and it is not fined. The result is an elegant sparkler bursting with citrus (orange and lime), pear and floral qualities. Why not save a few bucks by skipping the champagne and kicking back with this amazing farmer fizz? A total class act.