On a recent trip to New York City, I stumbled upon a great wine bar - or should I say Champagne bar: Flute. There are two New York locations and I found the midtown one located on W. 54th street, between 6th Ave and Broadway. The goal of this establishment is to provide "a comfortable space where guests could have a "Champagne experience" whether they came for caviar and bubbly or cocktails with friends." I think they succeeded. I arrived promptly at 5:00 PM, right when they opened and thus I had the tasting bar to myself - plus another couple starting their Saturday evening. Flute serves 100 champagne and sparkling wines by the bottle with about a dozen of these available by the flute. You can also purchase tasting flights of various champagne and champagne cocktails.
I started with a flute of the Chartogne-Taillet Rosé NV - a dry champagne made from 65% Pinot Noir and 35% Chardonnay, plus a splash of Pinot Meunier. The wine has strawberry flavors and a dry - complex finish. I can't wait to step up and try their Cuvee Fiacre. I wanted to also try a French sparkling wine, so the bartender recommended the Blanquette de Limoux Grande Reserve, a dry champagne from southern France's Languedoc and the home of the first sparkling wines. This wine was lighter than the Chartogne-Taillet and balanced throughout, a very drinkable champagne. It is made from the Mauzac grape, known locally as “Blanquette” and the name of the appellation: Blanquette de Limoux. I would suggest this wine before a meal and the Chartogne-Taillet during.