Fleuraison Blanc de Blancs Brut

For those of us who like to have a dead-of-winter party, some inexpensive bubbles are a necessary non-evil. The Fleuraison Blanc de Blancs Brut ($14) is perfect for these occasions, provided one can get past the gorgeous florals on the nose and actually drink it. On the palate, there’s everything one could want from a sparkling wine: zest, verve, lift, crisp green apple and citrus flavors, racy acidity, a persistent finish. Tastes great, less filling. Made with Spanish grapes by a French vigneron, this smooth sparkler is ideal for salty appetizers (or sipping with popcorn while watching a movie), sushi or a Friday-night fish (or chicken) fry. Ah, almost forgot: Your Valentine’s honey will think you spent a lot more than you did with this gem.

Available at Glen Lake, France 44, Wine Thief, Liquor Barrel (Golden Valley), South Lyndale, Excelsior Vintage, Hy-Vee (Brooklyn Park) and Liquor Works (Forest Lake)

Bill Ward