WHILE A FRENCH COOK would never dream of making this simple, elegant, classic dessert with anything but French Champagne, I find that Champagne-style sparkling wines produced in this and other countries are very suitable for it.
I like to add to the elegance of this dessert by serving it in a cut crystal bowl or in individual goblets. And to gild the lily, I usually accompany the oranges with Ladyfingers or Almond Tuiles.
The best oranges to use are seedless so the sections will be solid and not left with holes made by the seeds. The navel, the familiar seedless orange, is known in France as the Thompson, after the man who developed it. Use oranges in the winter months, at the height of their season, when they are deep orange in color and full of flavor. In addition to the navel, a number of other citrus fruits work well for this dessert, even though they have some seeds. Some of these are Valencia oranges, Mineola and other tangelos, and blood oranges.