JUST when you thought you’d had your fill of celebrations, a new year beckons and it’s time to start all over again. Here’s some sparkling wines to help your 2013 go out with a snap crackle and a hand-clapping pop.
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Spumante DOCG (£7.29) Aldi has a frizz-frazz of light bubbles with delicate apples and pears on the nose and to taste. The Co-operative Prosecco Special Cuvée Brut (£5 from £9.99 until Dec 31) is one of the best deals, delivering both on price and taste. The wine is full of apples and will-o’ the-wisp almonds.
An online choice is Ombra Prosecco Frizzante NV (£9.99, www.virginwines.co.uk) where nectarines and tangerines play alongside ripe pears on the nose, and deliver a consistent bubble.
Philipe Michel Crémant du Jura (£6.99, Aldi) was a dream at the price. It has won several awards this year – one being What Food What Wine’s Best Match with fish and chips. Crunchy fresh green apples from the chardonnay grape run all the way through it. Get to the chippy.
Never mind the chips, but with a curry Crémant de Bourgogne (£12, Oddbins, www.oddbins.com) was a little gem. Odd choice you may think; but it’s what I was cooking. The bourgogne has been commended in the Decanter World Wine Awards and was wonderful creamy apple tart from the first sip. One of those “ooh that’s lovely” moments from my guests.
Crémant du Jura Domaine de Montbourgeau Brut (£12.50, www.thewinesociety.com) is dry to the bone and crisp, but not-too-sharp apples deliver a refreshing bite.
Champers. OK, if we must. Comte de Brismand Brut (Lidl, £9.99 from £12.99 for the New Year). Another award-winner; it is a tenner’s worth of brioche with crunchy apples. Back at the Co-op, the very praiseworthy Les Pionniers Vintage Champagne 2004 is £23.99 from £26.99 and its sister The Co-operative Les Pionniers Champagne NV is £16.99 from £19.99. Both until Dec 31.
Among my favourite sparklers are English ones. At M&S English Sparkling Rosé is £17 until Jan 1. It’s a gorgeous memory of a strawberries and cream summer; but it’s a complex pink that makes you think. At Morrison’s Chapel Down Brut is £14.99 until January 5.
Fizz may be the order of the day, but Porcupine Ridge Merlot 2012 (Majestic, £8.99 buy two save £4) is a very palatable alternative for those who prefer red wine. It has more of an appearance of a shiraz than a merlot, with a smooth finish.
Vitral Syrah (Morrisons, on offer at £5.99 until January 5) is an award-winning Chilean wine. Garnet colour, aromas of blackberries with a hint of vanilla. Smooth on the palate with cherries and chocolate and an uncomplicated, lingering finish.
Tesco Finest Pazo das Donas Godello DO Monterrei 2012 ( £9.99) is a white with statement. Nectarines and stewed apples hum around the glass and to taste it has a vibrant freshness that stops your tastebuds even thinking about snoozing.
Another white: Villemarin Picpoul de Pinet 2012 (Majestic, £7.99 buy two save £3) was a glass of lemon and lime Opal Fruits (Starbursts for you youngsters) which said “hey, I’m a fashionable dude and a really enjoyable example of one too”.
If you can’t find something to bring in 2014 out of that little selection, then I’ll turn teetotal. That was a lie. Have a great time.
This first appeared in the saturday extra magazine December 28, 2013