There is still nothing that says New Year's Eve as well as a classic dry champagne - the real stuff, not New World imitators. Taittinger is hardly a boutique winery. It is among the most widely distributed champagnes on the planet. But despite its immense production, "La Francaise" has consistently been a paragon of the delicate, elegant style of champagne (as opposed to more robust style such as Bollinger). The nonvintage Taittinger is a wine of great finesse, with subtly yeasty, toasty flavors and fine, crackling bubbles. Spend a few more bucks for the good stuff. You'll be glad you did.

Taittinger Brut 'La Francaise'

From: Champagne, France

Price: $40

Serve with: Caviar and countdowns

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