I’m definitely feeling festive and that’s not just the trifle-flavoured cream liqueur talking. The tree is up, mince pies have been made (and eaten in front of The Holiday) and I’ve even managed to buy a few presents, albeit online and maybe a little wine-fluenced. Anyway, some of you have been asking for fizz recommendations so this week’s wines cover all sparkling bases. I’ve also put together a couple of Christmas cases with my brilliant local independent wine shop, The Solent Cellar, one full of crowd pleasers, the other full of classics (Christmas Day in wine form, basically). Both cases include six bottles (red, white, sparking) and and a case discount, click here to order. Next up, Elf.
Current Sparkling in the fridge: Moët & Chandon Imperial Brut
Price: £21.75 - Buy From Sainsbury's
Sainsbury’s are running a huge offer across their wine range until the 15th December, 25% off 6 bottles or more. And because Möet is already on offer (£29 down from £35), buy six bottles and it takes it down to just £21.75 per bottle. Now, I know Möet isn’t an obvious choice. Actually it’s almost too obvious, so ubiquitous is this brand. But it’s on brilliant form at the moment, all elegant balance and brioche. If you want to stock up on a big name, this one’s (currently) a bargain.
Current sparkling in the fridge: Veuve Monsigny Rosé Champagne
Price: £16.99 - Buy From Aldi
Hands down the best value rosé champagne on the shelves at the moment, IMHO. It’s got all the things you want in a pink fizz – fine bubbles, a touch of toast, delicate-but-definitely-there red fruit flavours – and above all, freshness. And all for well under £20 which, whilst still not cheap, is a bargain for champagne.
Current sparkling in the fridge: Cremant de Loire
Price: £7.99 - Buy From Lidl
Crémant is the umbrella name given to French sparkling wine made in the same way as champagne (aka Traditional Method) but from a designated region other than Champagne. This one – as the name tells you – is from the Loire Valley in northern France and is made from a blend of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay grapes. Much lighter than most champagnes but with that same toasty character, it’s a brilliant – relatively cheap – alternative to the Real Thing. And being French still gives it that je ne sais quoi (as they say).
Current sparkling in the fridge: Vecchia Modena Pignoletto
Price: £7.99 - Buy From Waitrose
A bit like Prosecco but drier, this Italian sparkler is from the neighbouring region, Emilia Romagna. And it’s made from different grapes – Pignoletto aka Grechetto Gentile – so has a little more bite to it compared with Prosecco. Light and fresh with lovely pear fruit flavours, it’s a proper crowd pleaser (and at this price, looks more expensive than it is – always good).
Current sparkling in the fridge: Tesco Finest Prosecco
Price: £6.50 - Buy From Tesco
Prosecco can be a bit hit and miss nowadays, not least because there’s so much of it about. But this one, especially with £1.50 off the normal price (until 12th December) is a proper Christmas cracker. It’s really light and lemony, fresh and frothy and not at all cloying (which some can be). Quality-wise, it’s DOC rather than the smarter – and usually a bit better – DOCG but still great value for money. Looks smart, too. Ideal for a crowd/cocktails.