DEVON DRINKS Bring out the bub­bles!

Devon Life - - Hulstone Fish -

Bub­bles are great way to cel­e­brate the ar­rival of the new year. Give a nod to the year gone by and toast the year ahead. se­lects a trio of fizz that will bring a touch of sparkle to your New Year cel­e­bra­tions!

SAINT-HILAIRE BLANQUETTE DE LI­MOUX

This his­toric sparkling wine is a great al­ter­na­tive to Cham­pagne: Sieur d’ar­ques ‘Saint-hilaire’ Blanquette de Li­moux (RRP £15 per 75cl bot­tle 12.5% abv). The Bene­dic­tine monks of the Abbey of Saint-hilaire pro­duced the world’s first ever sparkling wine back in 1531. It be­came one of the first AOC de­lim­ited ar­eas in the Langue­doc re­gion in 1938.

Sieur d’ar­ques is a co-op­er­a­tive of qual­ity-con­scious grow­ers who, since 1946, strive to pro­duce ex­cep­tional still and sparkling wines. The main grape va­ri­ety grown in Li­moux is Mauzac, known lo­cally as Blanquette, which must form at least 90% of the blend for Blanquette de Li­moux, along­side Chardon­nay and Chenin Blanc.

The Tra­di­tional Method (see panel) is used to make sparkling Blanquette de Li­moux. It has a pale lemon-green colour with small bub­bles. Aro­mas of ap­ple blos­som min­gle with green ap­ples, white peach and freshly cut grass. The palate is de­light­fully fresh with a del­i­cate mousse and soft green fruits, crisp acid­ity and a per­sis­tent fin­ish.

Serve chilled in a Cham­pagne flute. En­joy it with smoked salmon bli­nis. Avail­able at Smith’s Wines on Mag­dalen Road, in Ex­eter (Tel: 01392 426550) and for more in­for­ma­tion visit the Sieur d’ar­ques web­site.

FIND & FOS­TER RE­BECCA MITCHELL

Devon or­chards are the source of a great sparkling cider - Find & Fos­ter’s Méth­ode Tra­di­tionelle Cider (RRP £15.50 per 75cl bot­tle 8.1% abv).

Polly Hilton founded Find & Fos­ter in 2015. She be­gan to find and re­store for­got­ten or­chards in the Exe Val­ley which had been ne­glected. An­cient va­ri­eties of ap­ple tree were pruned and given a new lease of life. 27 dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of ap­ple have been used in the blend in­clud­ing ‘Veitche’s Per­fec­tion’ and ‘Ben’s Red’.

Base ciders are made in small batches be­fore be­ing blended and bot­tled – again, us­ing the Tra­di­tional Method - adding a touch of Cham­pagne yeast to trig­ger the sec­ondary fer­men­ta­tion and then aged on the lees for 18 months.

This fine sparkling cider has a won­der­ful golden hue with minute bub­bles. Aro­mas of ap­ple blos­som min­gle with or­chard fruit in­clud­ing coxes and Bram­ley ap­ple plus a hint of lime zest. It has a del­i­cate mousse with flavours of baked ap­ple and stone fruit with a zingy citrus fin­ish. This dry and so­phis­ti­cated sparkling cider has a vi­brant and del­i­cate style. En­joy it served chilled in a Cham­pagne flute. Add a dash of cas­sis or sloe gin for the per­fect pick-me-up this win­ter. Avail­able at Darts Farm, Quicke’s Farm Shop, Wild Moor Deli and Scrat­tings Craft Cider Shop. Find out more about Find & Fos­ter Fine Ciders by vis­it­ing their web­site:

WILD EL­DER­FLOWER BUB­BLY

A firm favourite for those who pre­fer a non-al­co­holic glass of fizz is Lus­combe Drinks’ Wild El­der­flower Bub­bly (RRP £3 per 32cl bot­tle). This clas­sic bub­bly is bound to be a crowd-pleaser for any cel­e­bra­tion.

Lus­combe Drinks, based in Buck­fastleigh, pro­duces an ex­ten­sive range of award­win­ning premium or­ganic soft drinks in­clud­ing fruit juices, crushes and bub­blies, tonic wa­ters and cider.

For this bub­bly, blooms of wild el­der­flow­ers are hand-picked in June and in­fused with a touch of Si­cil­ian lemon juice and blended with sparkling Devon spring wa­ter. The re­sult is an el­e­gant flo­ral sparkling soft drink with a del­i­cate touch of sweet­ness bal­anced by a citrus lift and the taste of sun­shine. Serve it chilled in a Cham­pagne flute or pour it over ice with a twist of lemon.

Also try the Da­m­a­scene Rose Bub­bly (rrp £3 for 32cl) with its del­i­cate scent of English rose petals and per­fumed Mus­cat grape juice. These de­light­ful sparklers are great for kids and grown-ups. They also pro­vide an ex­cel­lent base for mock­tails.

Avail­able in bars and res­tau­rants across Devon and also from Darts Farm, River­ford Or­gan­ics or Abel & Cole veg boxes. To find out more about the de­li­cious Lus­combe Drinks please visit their web­site:

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