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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She is the lead taster for Australia and New Zealand wines and California Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

A Versatile American Bubbly

Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs California NV

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: January 26, 2010

New Year’s Eve was delightfully mellow. Another couple came over to share plenty of finger foods and toasts. But picking a bubbly was a tough decision, as I know my guests like their sparkling wines much sweeter than I do.

I decided on one of my standbys, the Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs NV ($22). It’s fresh, crisp, aromatic and goes great with food. And for my sweet-toothed guests, I used it as a base for a Champagne cocktail called the “blushing bride”—apropos for the newly married couple. Just a bit of passion fruit nectar and a splash of grenadine gave it a beautiful hue and sweetened up the flavors for them.

Days later, I was heating up some leftover fried rice for dinner and reached for a beer in the back of the refrigerator when I found a forgotten, half-full bottle of the Chandon bubbly. The sparkling-wine stopper had kept some—but not all—of the wine’s fizz, and the flavors were still fresh—lots of cherry and spice notes. I love how sparkling wine pairs with salty foods and, even though it was a tad bit flat, the Chandon was great with my soy sauce-enriched rice. I was impressed with how this wine showed three ways: on its own, in a cocktail and days later. 88 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs California NV (86, $22).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among sparkling wines.

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