Jean-Claude Mas, Crémant de Limoux (Languedoc, France) “Côté Mas M” Brut NV

($16, EDV Esprit du Vin):  Everyone I know is always looking for affordable non-Champagne sparkling wine.  Crémant from France is a good place to look.  Crémant, which literally means creamy, has slightly less pressure than Champagne and is made in many wine-producing areas, such as Crémant de Bourgogne, Crémant d’Alsace, and this one, a Crémant de Limoux from the southwestern part of the country.  A blend of Chardonnay (60%), Chenin Blanc (20%), and equal amounts of Pinot Noir and Mauzac, it’s an elegant and “friendly” style of bubbly that lives up to the category’s name — there’s creaminess on the palate.  Although it’s a good choice as a stand-alone aperitif, it has enough verve to hold up to grilled fish, cold seafood or even roast chicken.  It’s an inexpensive way to turn Thursday night into something special. 90 Michael Apstein Oct 24, 2017