Here's a fun little test for your New Year's Eve guests: Pour them a glass of Gruet Brut
(normally $16.99 but on sale now in Utah wine stores for $13.99) without letting them see the bottle. Then ask them to wager a guess about where the wine came from.
My bet is that most people will inevitably guess that the bubbly was imported from France, since this lovely methode Champenoise
sparkler tastes very much like French Champagne that sells for three to four times the price of Gruet.
Then, confess that it is actually produced in the high desert near Albuquerque. Yep, it's made in New Mexico, with roots originating in Gilbert Gruet's Champagne house in Bethon, France. And it's a remarkable value, to say the least. Who knew? I'll tell you who: sommeliers. For years now Gruet sparkling wines have been a secret weapon of savvy sommeliers.
Gruet also produces a wonderful Brut Rosé
($18.99) and an equally appealing Blanc de Noirs