Social Media has an “on trend” flavour these days towards all things Prosecco, seeming to proscribe anything that ISN’T Prosecco. Well personally, just like I won’t join Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other unsocial media these days I won’t pay through the nose for overhyped fizzy wine or suffer indigestion from crudely acidic cheap stuff!
Summer paid us a brief visit in the U.K. a few days back, so in the hope that it will return in a couple of months here are my personal recommendations for some summer fizz for those barbecue, family, party, lazy days in your garden. And …… buy them NOW so they have a couple of months to settle down from any “bottle sickness” resulting from transportation and being bounced around in supermarket warehouses.
Contevado, Cava Brut (£4.99)
A grape blend Spanish fizzer from the supermarket chain, Aldi, and costing only £4.99 per bottle. Very easy drinking with low acidity though not a great deal of fruit flavour. I added a few drops of Elderflower Cordial to it and “fantastico” a perfect refreshing sparkling wine for quaffing pre barbecue.
A silver award winner at two International Wine Exhibitions. A Chardonnay based fizzer from France costing £7.99 and also from Aldi. Fruity, crisp and with plenty of bubbles that last. This is a step up in quality from the Contevado Cava and an absolute bargain!
Codorniu Rosado Brut (£7.99) (Be quick, offer ends 15th May 2018)
This is an old style, traditional Spanish Cava made from the Monastrell grape and Codorniu’s flagship wine for the U.K. A beautifully pure and vibrant rosé fizzer, with fresh berry fruit flavours especially strawberry and a crisp, dry finish. On offer in Waitrose until mid May.
Bird in Hand, Sparkling Pinot Noir (£15.99)
An up market fizzer from the Adelaide Hills in Australia. Made obviously from the Pinot Noir grape this is a light “strawberries and cream” classy sparkling wine at a good value price. Blush coloured and maybe one for special occasions, more expensive at £15.99 than my previous selections but cheaper than most champagnes of similar quality. Buy it in Waitrose.
Chapeldown Rose Brut (£27.50)
An English sparkler from the Chapeldown vineyard in Kent, not cheap at £27.50 but an absolute stunner that knocks the socks off any champagne at double the price. Full of fruit, balanced acidity and with a long finish this is a perfect example of high quality English wines now being made in the south of England. It was laughable recently that the French tried to blame Brexit for a drop in champagne sales ….. if you want to know the real reason visit the vineyards of Kent and Sussex, find the wines of Chapeldown, Denbigh’s, Nyetimber and the answer will just fall off your tongue!
This is a bit of a rogue on my list as I buy all of my Cremant de Bourgogne in France, specifically from Domaine Michel Rebourgeon in Pommard. I have annual tastings here and buy lots of their basic red Burgundy at £9 per bottle up to their Premier Cru Pommard at £40. But this wonderful fizzer costs only £7 per bottle. I need a bigger car!
But …… I encourage you to try and find some Cremant de Bourgogne in your local wine merchants. Made in the same way as champagne and with the same grape combinations it is much lighter on your wallet.
There is absolutely no reason to devastate your wallet on summer sparklers for aperitifs or garden parties or barbecues with all of these bargains around. Be adventurous, don’t be led by the nose (!) into buying only Prosecco or cheap champagne that will give you more indigestion than you bargain for! I have listed some examples here of fizzers from different countries and regions of France, Spain, Australia and England, and made from different grapes …. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Monastrell. Most you will find in supermarkets wherever you live, if you can’t find these specific wines, shop around for these varieties and try to find out which of them are award winning wines in the well known international exhibitions. Use the internet, especially Decanter where you will always find helpful reviews and independent advice. Better still, join The Wine Society, only £20 for life membership and only buy wines when you want them from YOUR own non profit society where you will find wines of every type from around the world and at great value prices too. Who knows, you could become a Wine Centurion too! 🍷🍾