A well-stocked restaurant wine cellar is no
longer a remarkable find. But what about one that
100 Methuselahs
of Domaine de la
Romanée-Conti, as does the cellar of Bistro à
Champlain in St. Marguerite du Lac Masson,
Quebec, or one that floats 20,000 bottles
across the sea, as in the case of Crystal Cruises?

The story of Schramsberg, arguably America's best sparkler, comes with a literary assist from Robert Louis Stevenson-- Sparkling Harvest: The Seasons of the Vine (Abrams; $45).


wine of the month:

The 1995 Renwood Old Vine Zinfandel ($17), rich, robust and resolutely all-American.

South of the Border Set

For a posh party gift, pair El Paso Chile Company's new all-natural margarita mix ($7 for 32 ounces) with its matching box of margarita salt ($6.75 for 1 pound). They neither taste nor look like the usual supermarket specimens, and both are available nationwide at Williams-Sonoma stores.