DEVON DRINKS Bring out the bubbles!
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: