Yorkshire Post - YP Magazine

Merry fizz-mas


We all need a bit of sparkle in our lives and now is the perfect time for a little treat, writes Christine Austin.

Whatever your plans for the festive season, we all deserve to raise a glass to congratula­te everyone around us, just for reaching the end of this year. Fizz is the natural choice for celebratio­ns, and I have listed some of my favourites from the shelves, from Crémant to Champagne, including an excellent English fizz.

I have also included some new cocktails and spirits now on the shelves to help your Christmas and New Year go with a swing.

Specially Selected Sparkling Shiraz, South Australia, Aldi, £6.99: It is red, fizzy and has just an edge of sweetness to make it eminently quaffable. Perfect to wake up the taste buds on Boxing Day or try it with a left-over turkey and stuffing sandwich on Christmas night.

San Leo Prosecco Magnum NV, Veneto, Italy, Waitrose, down from £21.49 to £15.99 until January 2: A magnum of frothy, fruity fun, which not only looks amazing but also works out at less than £8 a bottle equivalent. Perfect for parties.

Classics Crémant de Bourgogne Brut NV, Marks & Spencer, £10: Terrific flavour for money in this fizz from Burgundy – where the weather is just a little sunnier than Champagne, so there is more fruit, backed by a zing of lemon sherbet on toast.

Graham Beck Vintner’s

Selection Brut

NV, South Africa, Tesco, down from £13 to £11 until January 1 for Clubcard holders: This fizz shone out at the tasting, for its juicy peach and citrus fruit.

Jansz Premium Cuvée NV, Tasmania, Booths, down from £17 to £13.50 until January 2: Fresh, crisp, elegant fizz. Made from the classic grapes of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, it goes perfectly with smoked salmon nibbles.

Comte de Senneval Champagne Brut, Lidl, £13.99: One of the best of the bargain champagnes with a gentle fizz, crisp apple flavours, a hint of toast and a zesty, lemony finish.

Adrien Chopin Brut Champagne NV, Morrisons, down from £19 to £16 until January 1: Aged for three years on its lees to capture all the right yeasty, lemony flavours, this will drink well all through Christmas and through to next summer.

Calmel & Joseph Crémant de Limoux, France, Latitude Wine (Leeds), £17.99: From the cool, blustery hills of Limoux in the south of France, this is mainly Chardonnay, with Chenin and Pinot Noir in the mix, aged in bottle for 15 months and it has apple and pear flavours with a biscuity roundness on the palate.

Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne NV, Waitrose, down from £38 to £28 until January 2: One of my favourite champagnes for mid-morning sipping on the big day, this is bright, vivacious, and stylish. Waitrose also has half bottles down from £22 to £17.49 until January 2 for those days when a bottle seems too much but a glassful is just right.

House of Arras Brut Elite Cuvée, Tasmania, Majestic, £34.99, down to £29.99 on a mix-six deal: From Australia’s most-awarded sparkling wine house, this is exceptiona­l with creamy, rounded flavours of toasty nuts, stone fruit and a generous finish.

Black Chalk Classic 2017, England, Starmore Boss (Sheffield), £42.95:

The grapes grow in Hampshire, but the winemaker, Jacob Leadley, is from Yorkshire. This relatively new vineyard and winery is so successful that the wine is on allocation. Tasted against a long line-up of English wines, this shone out for its creamy bubbles, pure apple and ripe pear fruit, underpinne­d by garden-fresh acidity and a warm brioche finish.

Gosset Champagne Grand Blanc de Blancs, Bon Coeur Fine Wines, £49.98: When you can pick up a bottle of champagne for under £14, why spend £50 on Gosset? Because it is a sheer delight. This is a pre-prandial treat for you and your special guests. Made from 100 per cent Chardonnay, it has citrus, quince and honeyed notes, and a long, elegant toastiness on the finish.

Cocktails for Christmas

Masons of Yorkshire Espresso Vodka, Roberts & Speight (Beverley), £27.99: A new venture from Masons, which has

been making gin in Yorkshire for almost a decade. Now it has a range of vodkas – classic, citrus and espresso. The classic is the perfect base for cocktails, while the citrus version has flavours of lemon and pink grapefruit. This makes a perfect base for a citrus Martini. The espresso gathers up the flavours of after-dinner drinking, with deep, rounded, coffee flavours from Yorkshire-roasted coffee beans. These are sourced from El Salvador and distilled into the vodka. Splash a little into your coffee or create an espresso martini vodka cocktail with two shots of vodka, one shot of espresso, one shot of Guinness and a taste of caramel syrup. Shake over ice and strain into a coupe glass.

The Marksologi­st Cocktails, 50cl, Marks & Spencer, £18 : Terrific quality ready-to-drink cocktail mixes, just shake over ice. My favourite is the espresso martini, for its dark, complex, coffee flavours. Others include a Golden Negroni, a rhubarb and raspberry-based Clover Club, and a tangy passionfru­it Passion Star Martini.

Cranberry Blush Gin Liqueur, 50cl, Sainsbury’s, £12: Delightful­ly packaged, this has whole cranberrie­s floating on the bottle. Pink, fruity and 20 per cent alcohol. Drink straight over ice or use as a base for a fizz cocktail with cava or champagne.

Tia Maria Matcha Cream Liqueur,

70cl, Tesco, £16, down to £12 for Tesco Clubcard holders until January 1: Green and creamy and with a taste of green tea, peach and a touch of spice. Pour over ice and enjoy neat, preferably from a glass rim-dipped in matcha powder.

Fever-Tree Easy Mixing: We have all seen the adverts about the mixer making up most of the drink. Now Fever Tree has published a book with 150 cocktail recipes, all featuring its many tonics and mixers. There are lots of cocktail books on the shelves at the moment, but this one is approachab­le, the drinks are fun and straightfo­rward, and there is a terrific chart showing which brand of around 50 gins goes best with its range of tonics. Fever Tree Easy Mixing is published by Mitchell Beazley, cover price £15.99, also available online.

 ?? ?? GOBBLER AND GOBLETS: Turkey and fizz pair up nicely; inset, Espresso Martini anyone?
GOBBLER AND GOBLETS: Turkey and fizz pair up nicely; inset, Espresso Martini anyone?
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