Cheap Wines That Don't Suck: Domaine Voarick Crémant de Bourgogne
Feeling effervescent, but your wallet is more charmat than champenoise? Crémant is your best answer. Sparkling wine (almost always French), made via the time-intensive Champagne method, Crémant is less austere than its famous cousin but elegant in its own right, especially the bottlings from Burgundy.
A burrito's best friend
Domaine Voarick Crémant de Bourgogne, on sale for $9.99 (originally $16.99) at K & L Wines (638 Fourth St. at Townsend, 896-1734), is part Chardonnay, part Pinot Noir, the two traditional grapes of the Champagne region. Limestone soil gives it a steely backbone, which is softened by the (dry) strawberry tones of Pinot Noir.
At this price, you don't need to wait for a special occasion. Crémant is an alternative to the au courant Riesling recommendations for spicy food, so go Burgundian with that burrito or curry. Tiny bubbles, big enough flavor to stand up to heat.