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Ready To Toast 2015? Rye Wine Expert Offer Sparking Suggestions

A salesman at Wine at Five wraps a bottle of bubbly on Saturday.
A salesman at Wine at Five wraps a bottle of bubbly on Saturday. Photo Credit: Jon Craig
A display of "small growers" champagne at Wine at Five in Rye.
A display of "small growers" champagne at Wine at Five in Rye. Photo Credit: Jon Craig

RYE, N.Y. -- Ready to toast 2014 and ring in 2015?

The merchants at Wine at Five on Purchase Street in Rye offered recommendations for New Year's Eve and beyond.

Wine at Five takes the road less traveled and favors smaller growers. The term "growers'' champagne refers to independent growers who no longer sell their grapes to large producers. Among the Rye store's favorites:

  • Christian Etienne ($38)
  • Bruno Paillard ($54)
  • Cremant de Bourgogne ($18)
  • Bailly Lapierre ($18)

Sommelier Ned Towle of Hastings-on-Hudson, founder of Westchester Wine School which holds classes in White Plains and Manhattan, gave the Daily Voice some additional sparkling suggestions:

  • Dom Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, either the vintage or non vintage varieties: "This is an outstanding champagne and features both delicacy and finesse," said Towle. It ranges from $70 to $120 per bottle.
  • Gruet: Grown in New Mexico by a French family, this slightly fruity medium to full body wine is less on the acidity and yeast side like champagne and more on the fruit and mineral side, and is consistently good according to Towle; from $20 to 25 a bottle.
  • Banfi Winery Rosa Regale 2012: "Sparkling wines are festive but rose sparkling wines are extra festive," said Towle. This is an an off dry sparkling wine meaning there is some sweetness to it. It sells for about $15 per bottle.
  • Gruet Brut NV: This is another Towle favorite, sold as a rosé or a "Blanc de Noirs," which means it is made of Pinot Noir grapes. It sells for about $15 per bottle.
  • Cavas from Spain and Proseccos from Italy are always popular but a favorite is Moscato d'Asti from Italy. Towle is also quite fond of La Spinetta Moscato d'Asti Bricco Quaglia, a crisp vintage (get the 2013) that's full of  fruit flowers and perfume. "It's not a food wine," he warned, "But an apéritif wine that is knock-your-socks-off aromatic!" Expect to pay about $16.

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