Wine of the week: Francois Montand Brut Rose NV

Montand Brut RoseHow about $12 for the very French Montand Brut Rose sparkling wine for Mother’s Day?

The wine world’s obsession with Champagne has always puzzled me, even before I stopped drinking it. We’re always reminded that perfectly enjoyable wines like cava and Prosecco aren’t “real” like Champagne and that we’re missing something by not drinking it.

Nuts to that – these days, given that acceptable Champagne may cost as much as $40, what’s the point when there is quality sparkling at a fraction of the price? Hence, the Montand Brut Rose.

The Montand Brut Rose ($12, purchased, 12%) is French, made with odd grapes (cinsault, grenache noir) that come mostly from the Jura, an odd region best known for cheese and what the locals call yellow wine. But the Montand is made using methode champenoise, with the second fermentation in the bottle, just like the $40 stuff. That means it has the tight, rapid bubbles that are the hallmark of well-made sparkling.

Look for red fruit aromas (raspberries?), a little creaminess, and soft, simple, and enjoyable red berry flavors. This will work both before and after Mother’s Day brunch, as well as for brunch itself. Scrambled eggs in the French style, anyone?

Or keep a bottle chilled in the refrigerator, handy when you feel like bubbles after a very hard day at work. At this price, it’s truly an affordable luxury.