It’s not easy to impress a fellow bubbly lover with an economically priced bottle, but I did. What’s always most important in a memorable bottle is taste, and this sparkling wine has it, from the first sip to the last. My bubbly snob friend agreed. I gloated. And I have to share.

The wine is French (mais oui!), but it’s not champagne. It’s Veuve Ambal Blanc de Blanc, and it hails from Burgundy. Not only do I love this wine, I love its story.

Veuve Ambal is named after its founder, Marie Ambal, who was born in Burgundy in 1859. She moved to Paris with her husband, but upon his passing, she returned to her hometown, where her brother was involved in the wine business. She became intrigued by the production of champagne-style wines and decided to create her own “maison” in 1898. Yes, over 120 years ago! Still world-renowned for its quality sparkling wines, the Veuve Ambal winery is now overseen by Marie’s great-great grandson, Aurelien Piffaut.

The wine critic Natalie Maclean has raved about the Veuve Ambal. She said, “It’s a staggeringly great value…Tasty, toasty and bright with green apple refreshment. The Veuve Ambal finishes with white floral notes and lime zest. Pair with fried chicken. Incredible!”

And at a price of less than $15, I can say with certainty that it’s not just incroyable, it’s also fantastique. A votre sante!