Old World: Champagne, France
NV Louis Roederer Brut Premier ($43)
Roederer’s basic brut Champagne is luscious, with aromas of peaches and fresh-baked brioche.
New World: North Coast, California
2006 Schramsberg Blanc de Blancs ($36)
Lemon and apple notes characterize this zippy bottling from one of California’s oldest sparkling wine producers.
Old World: Sancerre, France
2008 Alphonse Mellot La Moussière ($38)
Smoky and herbal, with melon and lemon fruit, this is Sancerre at its best from a 19th-generation vigneron.
New World: Marlborough, New Zealand
2008 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc ($30)
Cloudy Bay made New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc famous for its citrus and green-pepper intensity.
Old World: Burgundy, France
2006 Louis Jadot Beaune Clos des Ursules ($60)
This tiny vineyard, owned by Jadot since 1826, produces a fragrant, wild-berry red with crisp tannins.
New World: Russian River, California
2007 Williams Selyem Westside Road Neighbors ($67)
From one of the defining California Pinot producers, this Pinot is classic Russian River Valley, with cola, dark cherry and black tea notes.
Old World: Bordeaux, France
2005 Château Lynch-Bages ($115)
Located in Pauillac, Lynch-Bages is one of the more approachable of the top Bordeaux châteaus. Its red is typically powerful but fleshy and full of rich black-currant fruit.
New World: Napa Valley, California
2006 Joseph Phelps Vineyards ($54)
Dense with ripe plum and blackberry fruit, Phelps’s bottling embodies the sweet generosity of Napa Cabernet.