I REALLY don’t give a fizzy hoot that I’m talking about sparkles again.
I REALLY don’t give a fizzy hoot that I’m talking about sparkles again. As the season to be jolly is looming, what better way is there to celebrate than by clasping a flute of sparkles.
(I’ve always thought someone should design a clarinet-sized Champagne glass for greedy old me, but until that time, a flute it is.)
This week I’m considering sparkles and other wines for your Christmas parties, be they decadent, fun, cheap or cheerful.
Lets launch straight in with a couple of offers from the Co-op. Gran Tradicion Cava Brut NV, is reduced from £11.99 to £5.99 until January 1. It is a typical sprightly blend of macabeo, parellada and Xarel.lo grapes with fine bubbles and a floral hint. I’m a cava convert this year, and I enjoyed this. Also from the Co-op is a decent white for parties, Marques de Valido Rioja Blanco 2011, down to £5.49 from £10.99, until January 1. It is well-balanced with tropical fruit and a zesty finish.
Back to bubbles: Araldica Moscato d’Asti 2011 (£9.99, www.virginwines.co.uk) is a gentle way to get a party started. A sweet and fruity number at just 5%ABV it holds its fizz for just long enough. Add a dash of Chambord black raspberry liqueur for a gorgeous cocktail.
Talking of cocktails; put equal amounts of limoncello and amaretto in a glass and top up with the stylish Freixenet Cordon Negro (the best price I’ve found is a case of six at www.tesco.com for £35.94). Very tasty and moreish – and all for me too as Beloved doesn’t like amaretto.
By the way, a go-grab offer is in Morrisons stores until Sunday, with Champagne Hubert Marie reduced from £28.99 to £10. I haven’t tried it – but it’s a tenner, so I probably will.
Where were we.
Oh yes, a pink delight at Marks & Spencer where Oudinot Rosé NV is reduced from £26 to £21 until January 1. Buy three and save five per cent. It’s a blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier with fine bubbles and a not-too-sweet strawberry dryness. Very enjoyable.
Another pink: Marqués de Cáceres Rosado Rioja (£8.99 Majestic) was commended at the International Wine Challenge and blends 20 per cent grenache with a spicy tempranillo to put clean, crisp, strawberries and pepper in a glass.
Also at Majestic is class in a glass Taittinger Prélude NV (RRP £47) which is a dinner party stunner. Chardonnay and pinot noir add layers of citrus and elderflower which are subtly balanced by a terroir memory of minerality.
Sainsbury’s Prosecco Conegliano, Taste the Difference magnum is down from £19.99 to £14.99 until the New Year. That’s alot of freshly popping crisp, citrussy Italian wine for your money – or go for 75cl at £7.36 from £10.99 until December 12.
Reds? Well why not. Asda’s Wine Selection Sicilian Red is £3.98 and should be a real crowd pleaser both for price and fruitiness.
Or Les Portes de Bordeaux 2010 (from £8.29, www.laithwaites.co.uk) is an award-winning but easy-drinking claret with berries and liquorice. Guess who tried it with a mulled wine spice mix for your benefit? Me! Guess who loved it? Me!
Finally, in Liverpool’s newest wine shop Robert & Henry Fine Wines in the quaint Lane in Queen Avenue off Castle Street, is the organic Malibran ‘Sottoriva’ Prosecco (£14.99) which catapults honeysuckle and mango onto your tastebuds and has hands-on-hips frothiness with attitude. Lovely.
Next week, wines to please your guests as they arrive excitedly on Christmas Day ... and others to serve with Christmas starters.