Sparkle at Christmas - December 2020

Seasonal Sparkle and Festive Fizz

Cheers! A Champagne toast is a traditional way to bring in the New Year and say ‘Goodbye’ to the old. This year I feel we should bring in the New Year with a special sparkler but one without Champagnes price tag.

Have a look at Champagnes sparkling cousin, ‘Crémant’. Not only do Crémant wine’s look the part; a sturdy Champagne style bottle and label, tiny pin prick bubbles, a classic biscuit aroma and importantly a cork that ‘pops’ they offer incredible value for money.

Produced outside Champagne’s prestigious growing region but employing the famous ‘Method Traditional’ techniques used in Champagne production, Crémant wines feature firmly on this years wish list. Many wine regions in France produce Crémant style wine. Crémant d’Loire, Crémant d’Jura and Crémant d’Alsace are well priced and generally easy to find. My favourite is Domaine de la Verpaille, Crémant de Bourgogne, Blanc de Blanc, Brut NV available from De Burgh Wine Merchants, Dalkeith. It’s fantastic value at £13.99.

Blanc de Blancs translates to ‘white of whites’ and refers to the grape variety Chardonnay. This sparkling wine is 100% Chardonnay. This famous, versatile grape variety gives the wine elegance, body and finesse. You might come across a Crémant ‘Blanc de Noir’ which means White of Black. The sparkling wine in this bottle is made with red grapes but produces a white wine!

Whilst you’re in your local wine store or browsing an online retailer, have a look at the Fortified Wine section. The festive period is the perfect time of year to buy Port. Retailers usually have plenty of stock at competitive prices. Port is the perfect accompaniment to ripe Stilton, a comfortable armchair and a roaring fire! My recommendation is Taylors Late Bottles Vintage Port 2016 available in Majestic Wine at £11.99 a bottle.

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