Michel Arnould Verzenay Extra Brut Champagne (Previously $40)
Although not labeled as a vintage, this is based entirely on 2007 juice. It is 100% Pinot Noir from Verzenay, the northernmost of all the Grand Crus in this northernmost of French wine regions. The whole village faces north, the wrong way, away from the sun, and yet miraculously ripens Pinot Noir, the most difficult Champagne variety to ripen perfectly. Some say it's because of a meteor that in prehistoric times hit the area that is now the village, creating the faux de Verzenay, a forest where the trees bend and fold in on themselves like a dark wood in The Lord of the Rings. Pair this wine as an apéritif with a smoked salmon appetizer, or even with sashimi.