Christmas is around the corner and bubbles are in order as we take time to relax, reflect and celebrate the year’s achievements.
While Champagne is still the order of the day for most households there has been a wave of intruders into the once French-controlled dominium.
Prosecco is an obvious nod, but you’d do well not to discount English and Spanish sparkling varieties too.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled the top five sparkling wines to enjoy over the festive period.
All Angels sparkling wine, from rural Berkshire
Nestled in rural Berkshire, All Angels is from a family-run vineyard producing only single vintage sparkling wines with extended lees ageing.
The vineyard was planted in 2010 on farmland in use for over 300 years. The wines take their name from the neighbouring ‘St Michael and All Angels’ – a 12th century church in Enborne village.
The winemaker is award-winning Emma Rice, Director and Head Winemaker of Hattingley Valley. The estate only produces two wines, a vintage white, Classic Cuvée, and a vintage sparkling rosé.
2014 is the first commercial vintage released by All Angels.
Buy from: www.winebuyers.com £30.00 / www.thenakedgrape.co.uk £32.99
Champagne Bruno Paillard Blanc de Blancs Reserve Privée Grand Cru NV
Maison Bruno Paillard is an independent, family-owned house, with exceptional vineyards located in the heart of Champagne.
The wines have a particularly strong identity, expressing the northern and chalky character of Champagne.
The vineyards are a particular focus at the Maison, which has built up an extensive portfolio of +100 plots which extends to 34 hectares across 17 crus.
Preserving the inimitable chalky minerality of the Champagne terroir, is a priority of the Maison, which works sustainably and with organic principles to express this specificity.
Buy from: The Whisky Exchange £67.95
Black Chalk “Classic” 2015
Black Chalk is a new English Sparkling Wine which launched just over a year ago.
Created by award winning winemaker, Jacob Leadley, Black Chalk wines are sourced entirely from Hampshire grapes grown on chalk soil.
Black Chalk Classic is small batch and made in the traditional method.
It is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir and the grapes are hand selected each year from some of the county’s finest chalkland vineyards.
Stylistically, purity of fruit is key, along with structure and a complex, balanced palate. The careful use of oak for a proportion of the wines and time on lees helps to develop this complexity.
Buy from: www.blackchalkwines.co.uk & independent wine merchants £40
Canevel Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry, Italy
No Christmas is complete without Prosecco, and this classy bottle from Valdobbiadene, Italy, will do just the job.
Bright and lively with abundant froth and a fine, elegant perlage on the nose apple and fresh floral notes of wisteria and acacia with, balanced, elegant and structured.
Excellent as an aperitif. Lovely with any fish dish such as fish cakes, smoked salmon, fish risotto and crudités.
Buy from: Oakham Wines £17.95 / All About Wine £14.99
Masi Moxxé Brut 2017, Italy
Think outside the box with this exciting sparkling wine (not prosecco) from Italy.
This wine is the first sparkling wine to be made with the appassimento process – whereby 50 per cent of the grapes are slightly dried in the sun.
The appassimento technique adds weight on the palate so makes this fizz great for food.
Intense nose with hints of flowers and fruitiness on the nose, aromas of apple and grapefruit. Excellent length to the finish: dry with notable fruitiness. Perfect from aperitif to dessert.
Buy from: All About Wine £14.49 / Corking Wines £16.25
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