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tocques and clochersI am still boycotting Champagne due their trade association’s shabby treatment of the blogger Champagne Jayne. Most people boycott Champagne because of the price tag.

But if you’re craving bubbly, old world, elegance you don’t have to go without. Toques et Clochers is a great substitute at half the price.

Apple and pear notes are ascendant with toasty brioche aromas in the background. This sparkler is very dry and crisp on the palate with a fine mousse and a long, pleasingly saline finish.

Crémant sparkling wines are made using the traditional Champagne method, but they’re not made in the Champagne region.  The EU bans the use of the term “methode champenoise” by producers outside Champagne, and so French sparkling wine made outside Champagne call their wines crémant. Regulations that govern the production of crémant include low crop yields, limited  use of sulphur dioxide, 9 months of aging on the lees, and require approval by a quality control tasting panel.

Limoux in the South of France is one of the prime crémant-producing regions.

Score: 90

Price: $20

Alc: 12%

Celebrate substitutes with a bottle of Toques et Clochers and this clip from The Who at the Monterrey Pop Festival 1967 playing—”Substitute”

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