Want to pick up some great-value festive fizz? Sam Wylie-Harris reveals her top finds.
Want to crown the day without having to break the bank? Of course you do. Thankfully, bargain bubbles are not hard to find these days – so you can celebrate in style without having to bust the budget.
With the party season in full swing, here’s how to put the fizz into festive and pop the corks on the best sparkling wines for budget banquets and stylish soirées…
1. Esprello Rosato, Italy (£7.50, SPAR stores)
Soft, fresh and fruity with classic summer berry notes, what’s not to love about these bellissimo pink bubbles, to pimp your party with an air of Italian finesse?
2. Vuestro By Luz & Bonito, Spain (£6, Co-op stores)
This stylish sparkler, with its festive bauble label, has a Zork plastic cap that pops like a cork but can also be resealed. Not that fizz fanatics would dream of doing so – its citrus-edged, fruity freshness is deliciously quaffable and a steal at the price.
3. Freixenet Cordon Negro Limited Edition, Spain (£12.95 with Gift Box, Slurp.co.uk)
Black tie bash? Another Spanish corker, Freixenet have dressed their award-winning, bestselling bubbles in a fashionable polka-dot print (trending for spring 2020 fashion collections). A cracking good cava to gift the host, or yourself.
4. Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux Brut, 2016, France (£10, Tesco)
A crémant always shines bright, and this is a great all-rounder to have in the fridge door. Made in the traditional method similar to cava and champagne, price-wise this is right on point, with its creamy, citrusy lemony aromas and fruity, fresh finish.
5. Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, France (£12.49, Aldi)
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a glass of champers, and Aldi’s perennial favourite with the judges now has another medal under its belt, having just scooped a Silver at the 2019 Drinks Business Champagne Masters. Ranked alongside more expensive and famous champagne brands, it has enough charm to please the palate of an angel.
6. Bouvet Ladubay Saumur Brut NV, France (£12.99, or £9.99 Mix Six, Majestic)
One of the oldest and most awarded producers in the Loire Valley, Bouvet Ladubay has real gravitas and, most importantly, sheer drinkability. The quality of the chenin blanc fruit creates a mosaic of honeysuckle, citrus and white flowers and offers amazing value.
7. Mirabeau La Folie Rosé, South of France (£14.99, Waitrose)
An elegant rosé with a gentle stream of bubbles to satisfy our thirst for Provençal pinks all year round, this softly scented rosy-hued beauty offers strawberry aromas, with hints of red berries, grapefruit and gooseberry gracing the lovely fresh finish.
8. Jansz Premium Cuvée, Tasmania, Australia (£15.80, Frazier’s Wine Merchants)
Tasmania is at the top of its sparkling wine game, and this shimmering gold blend of chardonnay and pinot noir shares a similar mouth-filling weighty fruitiness to champagne. Topped with hints of brioche, honeysuckle and nougat, finishing with some creamy yeasty complexity, it’s worth seeking out.
9. Alessandro Gallici Prosecco 50th Anniversary 2018, Prosecco DOC Millesimato, Italy (£15.99, Laithwaites.co.uk)
A prosecco with personality, this impressively glitzy anniversary bottling certainly wins in the style stakes. And if Allesandro Gallici’s entry-level glera gems are anything to go by, prosecco princesses will be in for a real treat with this special anniversary edition. Expect creamy lemon, peach and toasty notes galore.
10. Chapel Down Three Graces, Kent, England (£29.99, The Oxford Wine Company)
Spot-on English sparkle from the 2015 vintage, aromas of baked apple and delicate hints of strawberry shortcrust give way to a citrusy, biscuity complexity, with perfectly balanced English acidity and a beautifully fresh finish. A class act from one of our finest producers.