Sometimes all you need for the New Year is 20 bucks, a bottle, and a dream. "At the 20- to 25-dollar price range," says Railsback. "Sparkling wine from the higher Loire Valley brings a lot more value than champagne." He likes the 2009 Pierre et Catherine Breton "La Dilettante" Vouvray for the minerality that derives from its chenin blanc grapes. Think super briney, with a good amount of texture and body – making it the perfect accompaniment to oysters. [$23; wine-searcher.com]
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