How is it a month until Christmas already!? Before we finish wondering how fast it went, it will be time to usher in the New Year – for 2017 perhaps more hastily than the last! Nevertheless, this is the perfect time to celebrate with friends and family, and no celebration is without a bottle of sparkling wine when the clock strikes 12.
For our recent Christmas food and drink blog we suggest a number of crowd pleasing wines, perfect for hosting a get together with some canapés and snacks. Perhaps the ever popular Lawson’s Dry Hills Sauvignon Blanc, for a red our Beaujolais Villages, or our newer offerings such as the Waterford Estate Chenin Blanc and the Brookland Valley Semillon Sauvignon Blanc? Maybe you are putting together a Charcuterie board – a wonderfully sociable food perfect for parties – for which we recommend our lovely Loire Red, Domaine de Rocheville Le Page.
But as it approaches midnight, to match the fireworks we are thinking something more flamboyant!
At WineTrust we have something to suit a number of tastes and budgets.
Prosecco is a real crowd pleaser, none more so than our immensely quaffable Prosecco Vallate (in our humble opinion). This is an example of Spumante Prosecco, or “fully sparkling” so to speak, compared to frizzante prosecco which is “semi-sparkling” – more gentle, effervescent in style. A wonderful storm of bubbles makes for a perfect party piece, as well as the delicious citric and floral nose that make this a stand out wine. £10.95
Always the tradition, WineTrust is a champion of some of the great Champagne houses – what we consider to the be more individual quality, artisanal and leading-edge brands.
- The wonderful Lallier are a small family enterprise, whose cuvées are sourced almost exclusively from Grand Cru villages – inlcuding 5 plots in the famous Grand Cru vineyard of Aÿ. Primarily focused on the distinctive Aÿ Grand Cru Pinot Noir character and style, both the Grand Cru Réserve and Grand Cru Rosé are wonderfully rich and flavourful examples. £24.00 and £26.00
- Also based in Aÿ is the historic Ayala, one of the original eighteen “Grandes Marques’ Champagne houses. It dates back to 1860 when Edmond de Ayala received the magnificent Château as the dowry for his wedding. Edmond’s brother Fernand then settled in London in order to build sales. He became a close friend of the Prince of Wales, who enjoyed Champagne but found it too sweet. So Ayala released its special “drier”1865 vintage especially for the Prince, thus creating the modern era of “dry Champagne”. The wonderful Brut Majeur reflects this heritage, and displays a wonderfully zesty and refreshing style. £25.00
- Finally, if you want to go all out for your New Year celebrations, Charles Heidsieck will make a real treat. Charles Heidsieck established his eponymous Champagne house in 1851 and having found success in Europe, he took the bold decision to travel to the USA. He was one of the first to introduce Champagne successfully to this country and his vivacious personality gained him notoriety and most importantly following – famously becoming known as ‘Champagne Charlie’. The Champagne House has unrivalled access to the best vineyards and collection of reserve wine in Champagne, sourcing from 120 different vineyards. Their incredible attention to detail and quality is evident in both the Brut Réserve and Rosé Réserve – fantastic, standout Champagnes. Each have won countless gold medals, and this year the Brut Réserve won the “World Champion Classic NV Brut Blend” in the 2016 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships. A deserving accolade, both these wines are not far off perfection. £35.00 and £44.00
Alternatively, look no further than the Chalk Downlands of Hampshire with Hambledon Vineyard’s Classic Cuvée, showcasing the best of what English Sparkling Wine has to offer. Our homegrown industry has really taken off in recent years and proves especially popular around Christmas. A warm and dry autumn has given real promise to the 2016 vintage, which will surely continue to rival our French counterparts across the Channel! From England’s oldest commercial vineyard, this is a real contender and an absolutely delicious product. Dry, lacy and zesty, this is a real flag bearer – think bramley apple pie with lovely toasty, pastry notes. £28.00
Or perhaps something more exotic? Try our New World sparkling rosé Taltarni Taché from Australia. Voted the best Australian Rosé at the The Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships 2015, this salmon pink sparkler is something different and exciting to serve to family and friends – and offers outstanding value for money £17.00.
Otherwise, we were bowled over recently by our new Californian sparkling from Roederer Estate. This is where Old World meets New; the name is very familiar, and indeed the winery is owned by prestigious Champagne house Louis Roederer. Both the Rosé and the Brut NV are wonderfully rich and textural and will make a great alternative to Champagne – but never too far removed! £28.00 and £19.50
Also worthy of mention is our Loire Sparkler from Langlois; a bit closer to home this estate is also owned by a prestigious Champagne house – this time Bollinger. Over 40 years of investment has transformed this renowned château and their Crémant de Loire will make an elegant party pourer. £13.50