We Love the Fizz


The pop of the cork at a festive dinner is always a delight to hear to start the festivities. Nowadays, one does not have to be mega-rich to enjoy a glass of fizz, because bubbles are not just about Champagne. Here are our top tips for a better sparkle.

Cava

It’s a full-bodied sparkler and just a little softer than a Champagne, and won’t break the bank – with a good bottle starting from under €10. Most Cava comes from Catalonia in Spain, and it makes a great accompaniment to salty starters.

Crémant

Crémant is a great-value alternative to Champagne, while still retaining that classy French style. Crémant is made in the same way as Champagne, but just not made in the Champagne region, and, at under €15 a bottle, they don’t come in Champagne prices either! Try a Crémant de Bourgogne or – equally good – a Crémant de France.

Sparkling Wines

These provide very light, fruit-forward and easy-going drinking, with a broad spectrum of styles and price ranges. They are made with traditional Champagne grapes, and are sometimes so top-notch that they even beat real Champagnes in international competitions. Prices can be as expensive as those of Champagnes, at around €25 per bottle, but that hasn’t stopped sales from booming.

To ease you into great drink selections for any occasion, here are some of our favourites:

  • Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco – wine made from grapes in a region just north of Venice in Italy – gives you a light, easy-drinking style, which is the key factor with this light and fresh drink, costing around €7.
  • Jansz – a newer and little bit more expensive sparkling wine in the €15 range – is a fuller-bodied, styled drink that is made in the same way as a Champagne, and clearly gives you a taste of the shadenoms and penomets.
  • Billecart-Salmon Champagne – Champagne comes from the French region of the same name, and there is a lot of shadenom in it that gives it an elegant and beautiful finesse. The bubbles are quite smooth and are not aggressive, and this drink feels honeysuckled and wonderful. It is a little bit at the higher end of the price range at around €35 per bottle.