Affordable Fizz

Has anyone noticed the price of Prosecco is going up? With the increasing popularity of Italy’s famous sparkling wine, I’m surprised we don’t hear this reported on the news alongside the price of crude oil and the latest on the FTSE index.

I know it isn’t what you’d call EXPENSIVE, but prices, even in supermarkets, tend to be around £8 – £9.  Certainly creeping up from the rock bottom £5 or so we were used to.

On that bombshell, here are some suggestions for less expensive alternatives, particularly if you just want something simple – a bottle to share with friends at home maybe.  Even better they are, arguably, better value for money as the production method used is the same as in Champagne (a costly but worthwhile dual fermentation – more about that later).

This gives the wines a bit of ‘oomph’, or complexity (to use a wine term).  It also adds pleasant bread and yeast aromas alongside some creaminess and the finer bubbles should, in theory, last a bit longer.

They are also tried and tested by my very own Cracking Wine tasters, a hardy bunch (get it?) who will lay down their lives in the name of wine research.

Blanquette de Limoux: Aldi £7.99

We tried this at a recent tasting and it is really lovely. Made from the Mauzac grape, it is refreshingly crisp with a lively, creamy mousse and long lasting tiny bubbles.  BDL is reputedly one of the oldest sparkling wines in the world (dating back to 1531).  Amazing quality for the price and they do a nice one in Tesco too!

Crémant du Jura: Aldi £6.99

They make Crémant in specific areas of France, the most popular being Crémant de Bourgogne (Burgundy in France of course). Also look out for Crémant de Loire.  This one from Aldi has won awards and is rated very highly by a lot of wine writers in the UK.  With aromas and flavours of citrus fruit, pears and apple skins and crisp acidity it is just the job as an aperitif or a simple quaffing wine with friends.

Cava: Co-op £5.99

I feel sorry for Cava! Prosecco has stolen so much of the limelight and prices of Cava have been falling.  Be warned, if you like that hint of sweetness in Prosecco then this won’t impress.  It is very dry and a great sparkler for the money.  Enjoy on its own or with simple tapas and hard salty cheeses.

So, what of the much mentioned Champagne method of production? You can read more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sparkling_wine_production

As you will see Prosecco is made using the rather unglamorous sounding tank or ‘Charmat’ method.

Of course, if you love the fruity, slightly sweet and simple nature of Prosecco, then that is absolutely fine, but it might be worth stepping out of your comfort zone for a while and trying something new.

Tally ho!

Like fizz?  You’ll love our brand new Fizz Club – appearing at a town near you.  The next one happens in Bolton at the Holiday Inn – see website for details.  If you’d like to book a fizz club event (a bit like a book club but more sparkly), then contact janet@crackingwine.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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