In the Wine Curmudgeon's continual quest for sparkling wine values, I stumbled on the Palais, from the Jura region of France. And stumbled is the right word, because the Jura, which is on the Swiss border and is closer to Geneva than Paris, is little known to begin with, and is known for cheese and ham if it's known at all.
Which is why the Palais (about $14, purchased) is so reasonably priced for a wine made with the Champagne method. It's a step down from Champagne in terms of subtlety and sophistication, but it's also one-third the price. On the other hand, it's softer and more interesting than less expensive wines like Spanish cava, and it has plenty of chardonnay pear and green apple fruit. I was a little disappointed with the bubbles, which seemed underwhelming, but that might have been the bottle I had.
Drink this to toast the New Year or with almost any white wine sort of food. My notes say it's tasty, and I almost never write that for any kind of wine. That shows just how food friendly the Palais is.