Add a bit of sparkle to your Christ­mas

The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - - Front Page -

We can’t stop drink­ing sparkling wine in this coun­try. Se­ri­ously. While ev­ery other wine cat­e­gory floun­ders – de­spite all the pro­pa­ganda sug­gest­ing that we are drink­ing more, Kan­tar fig­ures show an over­all de­cline in re­tail wine sales – sparkling wine is flour­ish­ing.

Prosecco in par­tic­u­lar is huge. Ma­jes­tic said its sales were up 39 per cent in the six months to the end of Septem­ber and that a prosecco – Prosecco Corte Alta NV (£6.99 when you buy two bot­tles) – was its fourth best­selling wine, be­hind The Ned sau­vi­gnon blanc and NV cham­pagne from Veuve Clic­quot and Bollinger. “We’re find­ing that it’s not just for cel­e­brat­ing, it’s a so­cial drink to have with friends and fam­ily on a Fri­day or Satur­day night,” says Ma­jes­tic’s Emma Raper. “Very fash­ion­able – and we ex­pect that trend to con­tinue.”

What about other fizz? (“Oh God, you’re not us­ing that aw­ful word fizz are you?” I can hear my friend Robert, whom I’ve asked to help me taste, say­ing. “Why do you peo­ple do that? I sup­pose at least it’s not as bad as ‘bub­bles’.”) Well, other fizz is pop­u­lar too: cava, sparkling wine from other parts of France, Italy and Aus­tralia (in par­tic­u­lar Tas­ma­nia) and from our own green south of Eng­land, all have far more cred­i­bil­ity than they used to.

No longer just a poor man’s bud­get re­place­ment, non-cham­pagne sparklers are styles we ac­tively seek out: and rightly so. There are times when I much pre­fer the clear, sim­ple, pear-and­snowflake taste of prosecco to that of cham­pagne. Some­times I’ll hap­pily pay more for it – the price of prosecco keeps on ris­ing, while at Christ­mas you can still pick up a plau­si­ble bot­tle of cham­pagne for un­der £10 (ex­am­ple: the Aldi Veuve Monsigny NV I rec­om­mended ear­lier this month).

If you’re look­ing for a cheaper sparkling wine, don’t dis­count wines you may never have heard of.

One of the star wines I tasted for this piece was a Cré­mant du Jura. It came in an im­pres­sive Krug-like bot­tle that even met with Robert’s ap­proval – “This looks good,” – un­til he caught sight of the la­bel on the back. “Oh, no,” (this in tones of great re­vul­sion). “It’s from Aldi. Aldi!”

To be fair, he’s been liv­ing out of the coun­try for a few years, which may ex­plain

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.