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Sparkling summer: bubbly wines to celebrate any special occasion

Mon 25 Jul 2011 17:26

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The Hour is off on holiday for a month and what better way to say au-revior than with a bottle of champagne or bubbly wine. We invited wine expert and The Hour regular Tom Cannavan to pick his top three bottles of bubbly.

Going from the affordable – ideal for a glass at a BBQ – to the vintage champagne – more suited for a celebration – Tom’s choices ranged in price, style and taste.

First up was the Prosecco Spumante, a fresh and fruity wine from Venice, Italy (£8.99, Great Grog Co.) that is said to be perfect for summer weddings. A little less dry than Champagne, this wine’s subtle hints of lemon and sherbet go perfectly with aperitif wine or lemon desserts.

Tom told The Hour: “This comes from Italy as all Proseccos do and has some lovely lemon sherbet notes.

“There is a lovely freshness which makes me think of a nice icing sugar. It's dry but it has lightness and hasn’t got the acidic touch Champagne can have.”

Offering the perfect mix between wine and Champagne, Bluff Hill’s Sparkling Rose (£9.99, Marks & Spencer) really is a class above for its price range. Made with the same recipe and same grapes as champagne, this wine has a lovely fruit aroma with hints of biscuit and berries in the taste.

“It’s got a wee touch of biscuit and red currant”, said Tom. “It’s delicious and has that wee bit more richness. It goes brilliant with things like smoked salmon and is a real treat.”

For the more extravagant drinkers among us, the 2002 Veuve Clicquot Champagne (£40.00, Majestic) from the famous wine growing region of France is for those extra special moments. Rich, fruity and with a hint of brioche, this Champagne is only ever made from grapes from perfect years – such as 2002.

Tom added: “This is one of the best vintage Champagnes of recent years, a really classy wine. You will enjoy it for its hints of apple and it has been cellared for five to ten years. Beautiful with food or on its own.”

Tom's Top Wines


 

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