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Sparkling wine case, £73
3:11pm Thursday 17th May 2007 in Leisure
The great thing about sparkling wine is that you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to drink it - unlike Champagne.The Champenoise are well known for their marketing expertise and have missed no opportunities to charge a fortune for so called "deluxe" cuvees and other apparently "rare" wines.The power of market forces knows no bounds as always. Luckily, sparkling wine (made by exactly the same method as Champagne) tastes riper, is less tongue searingly dry and doesn't cost anything like as much money, which of course all adds up to drinking pleasure.
- Varichon Blanc de Blancs NV, France
Located in the hilly alpine region between Lyon and Geneva, Varichon & Clerc have been continually producing classic "Methode Champenoise" wines since 1901. Local grapes, such as Altesse and Molette, are skilfully blended with judicious amounts of Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Maccabeu to fashion this very elegant wine. This is a smooth and creamy sparkler with flavours of gentle pear, apple, vanilla and toast.
- Cava Castillo Perelada Reserva NV, Spain
The quality of Cava has risen steadily in recent years and this example from Castillo Perelada shows why the company's rosé was served at the royal wedding of Spain's Prince Felipe in Madrid recently. Only the finest fruit is used from vineyards originally tended by Carmelite monks to produce this elegant sparkling wine which possesses complex yeast and fresh lime fruit flavours.
- Angas Brut NV, Australia
One of Australia's most famous sparkling wines, Angas Brut produced by Yalumba remains an excellently crafted wine with great and deserved appeal. Made from the classic mix of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay which is sourced mainly in South Australia this wine has good full rich fruit and toasty, yeasty and creamy complexity. This is a wine fruity enough to accompany salads and light foods - a wonderful summer drink.