It’s time to brush up on the lyrics to those classic Christmas tunes; pop on the Christmas jumper and have a jolly good time with your chums, your workmates and your nearest and dearest. There’s no better way to add sparkle to your festive fun than with some Christmas fizz.
Christmas fizz: Cava and Moscato
Camoli Moscato (£4.99, Aldi) The word “dolce” on the label means “sweet” – but don’t turn your nose up just yet. Pop this in the fridge and give it a humdinger of a good chill and at only 6% abv it’ll tingle your senses at the start of an evening without slam-dunking them into shock before all your pals arrive. Also a great tastebud tease with pudding.
Codorníu Cuvée Barcelona Brut (RRP £12.99 Sainsbury’s and Waitrose) Cava is made in the same way as champagne but with different grapes and has more flavour and complexity than prosecco. This has aromas of ripe red apples, ribboned with orange zest, and citrus flavours really zing. Hide it behind the tree and keep to yourself.
Christmas fizz: Champers under £20
Bissinger Champagne Premier Cru (Lidl, £15.99) This is a shiver of fizz which is lovely as an aperitif. Go on then, pour as the family arrives on Christmas Day. The grapes come from some of the best vineyards in the Champagne region and the winemakers have used them to make a Champers which is fruity, fresh and not too dry.
Les Pionniers Non-Vintage Champagne (The Co-op, £16.99) This has just been named best non-vintage bubbly by Which?, beating brands including Lanson and Veuve Clicquot. Breathe in the aromas of pears and ripe red apples which fizz out of the glass with a zesty pippety-pop while also delivering a backbone shiver.
Extra Special Louis Bernard Vintage Champagne (Asda, £18, down from £30, until December 31) I love this vintage champers from Asda. It is one of the most mouthwatering supermarket vintages I’ve tried. Great price too for a bundle of citrus, tropical fruit and those familiar warming brioche aromas.
Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne (Tesco, £18) If you like your champagne dry with no syrupy sweetness then this is the drink for you. Any drier and you’d be spitting dust. Don’t let the bubbles fool you, this is a hardcore, no-nonsense champagne packed with bold flavours.
J de Telmont Grande Réserve NV (Majestic, £19.99 or a bulk buy Mix Six Price of £13.32} This fizz leans towards fruity as opposed to complex flavours of brioche and comforting warm bakeries. It’s a lovely Champagne though, crisp and refreshing.
If you enjoy prosecco, click here. You know you want to.
Christmas fizz: Champers over £20
Gimonnet-Gonet Blanc de Blancs Cuvée Or (£23.50, Your Sommelier) Your Sommelier is an independent online retailer which ships French wines over to the UK, including this family-owned Champers. This is a blanc de blancs, which means it is a Champagne made entirely from chardonnay – it was delicious with a couple of raspberries popped in the glass. Your Sommelier is running a special flash Christmas sale until December 21.
Jacquart Brut Rosé Mosaique (Sainsbury’s, £35) I took this along to a gathering of girlie friends – sometimes its rude not to share the love. It’s a pink – and girls love pink sparkles. Well, not always, as they can be hyper sweet, but this one is dry and fresh with delicate bubbles which tinkle happily for a good while.
Champagne Bruno Paillard Brut Premiere Cuvée (www.spiritedwines.co.uk, £38) This is a champers to savour, not to hurry, no matter how giddy you are wearing your party hat. There’s crisp flavours of apples and citrus with brisk and bright aromas of grapefruit and apples.
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Some of these reviews were first published in the saturday extra magazine December 5, 2015