We all love the cheerful sound of popping corks and watching the fizzy bubbles pouring into an elegant glass, sparkling wine is the perfect choice for any celebration and most people will be more than happy to receive a bottle as a gift.
A dry sparkling wine, be it Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, wines from England, New Zealand, South Africa or Australia can be drunk alone or make perfect partners with light nibbles or canapés.
Sparkling wines, including Champagne, are often dry, but also come in semi-sweet (or demi-sec) and sweet styles, both of which are a great choice for serving with cakes or deserts, or after dinner on their own. Pink sparkling wines can be dry or sweet, so be sure to check the label carefully.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier are the classic grape varieties for Champagne and are widely used for top quality sparkling wine elsewhere, but other grape varieties that display the particular characteristics and qualities required to make the still base wine, produce fine sparkling wine.
I love something different so here are a few sparkling wines from lesser known French regions.
In the Loire Valley, where you’ll find the fruity and fresh Chenin Blanc
Domaine de la Galiniere produces a delicious sparkling wine from a single vintage wine, currently 2008, still holding freshness and fruity notes that will delight any Loire Valley drinker. There is something very special about the Chenin Blanc grape, that allows it to take on so many disguises. From sparkling through sec, demi-sec to almost sweet wines called Moelleux.
In the western hills of Carcassone, in the Languedoc region of France, wine-makers produce fine “traditional” method fizz and a delicious “ancestrale”, sweeter wine… so bring on the cake!
Limoux produces 2 types of traditional fizz, Blanquette, based on the original Mauzac grape and the more delicate Crémant de Limoux made from Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc.
The vineyard Antech have even produced a gorgeous sparkling rosé and Doux et Fruite, an Ancestrale Method wine – only 6% and slightly sweet.
In-land from Bezier, approximately in the centre of the Languedoc region, the “Le muscat petit grain”, an almost forgotten grape variety, has been re-established to produce an unusual wine…
Domaine Castan produces a sparkling “muscat small grain” which has a fruity softness, exotic aromas of lychee and white flowers, as they say ” wriggling and greedy”
If you want to know any more about these regional sparkling wines please take a look on the website or get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s to enjoying new fizz and fun!