Food and Drink: Great news! The champagne won't run out

Wines of the Month

AS END of the year celebrations loom, champagne will be increasingly on minds and tongues. The action will start to hot up as the summer ends with a variety of sizzling deals on cases prices, large sizes and special millennium bottlings. Already, this month, the Co-op, in true champagne- socialist tradition, has once again snaffled a parcel of a Grande Marque champagne and lopped a fiver off each bottle.

What champagne won't do, despite the hype, is run out. We aim to take a look in early autumn at where the best deals will be as well as the best Champagnes for millennium celebrations - and beyond.

Meanwhile, at a Millennium Champagne tasting in Stockholm, of 150 different fizzes sampled by eight international judges (not including your own critic), the 1959 Billecart Salmon Champagne Cuvee Nicolas-Francois Billecart was voted Champagne of the Millennium. Regrettably, there is none for sale.

WHITES

Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut, pounds 13.99, selected Co-op stores (from Monday 5 July).

The Co-op has slashed prices on Moet & Chandon and Lanson Champagnes in the past by acquiring them through the "grey market", once again they are doing their Robin Hood act, this time by selling Piper Heidsieck at the reduced price of pounds 13.99 (it's normally pounds 18.99) until the end of July or as long as stocks last.

Not a bad deal for this increasingly popular, attractively fruit-led blend of 60 per cent Pinot Noir, 40 per cent Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay.

1998 DR L Riesling, pounds 4.99, Waitrose.

From Ernie Loosen in the Mosel, this is a bantam-weight, summery off- dry white with a floral fragrance of sweet pea and almond, a refreshing spritz on the tongue and the mouth-watering sweet-and sour-bite of a Cox's apple. Normally pounds 5.99, Waitrose are lopping pounds 1 off in July.

1998 Sancerre Clos du Roy, Paul Millerioux, pounds 7.49 (buy 2 and save pounds 1), Majestic.

If New World Sauvignon Blanc emphasises fruit opulence, France's best examples put the accent on the minerally, flinty characters of the grape variety in its natural habitat of the eastern Loire Valley.

This is classic Sancerre, stony, aromatic and full-flavoured with a cut- grass edge and grapefruity zest.

1998 Polish Hill River Riesling, Clare Valley, pounds 7.99, Safeway.

Some of the best dry Rieslings come not from Germany but from Alsace, and its New World counterpart, Australia's Clare Valley north of Adelaide. This is a good example of the style: rich, dry and full-bodied at the same time, with a delicate lemon and lime-zest perfume and citrus-like flavours. A white to drink with smoked fish, like eel, salmon or trout.

RED AND ROSe

1999 Fairview Dry Rose, pounds 3.99, Asda.

Cape entrepreneur Charles Back is as successful at making goat's cheese as excellent value wines. This is an attractive dry rose made from bleeding the skins of the Cinsaut, Cabernet Franc and Gamay grapes to produce a juicy, strawberry and loganberry fruity wine. Think pink and wish for summery weather.

1997 Santa Ines Legado de Armida Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, pounds 5.99, Tesco.

With its fresh, raw meaty aromas, this is a ripe succulent, ultra-blackcurranty Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon with smooth fruit and a shade of vanilla oakiness. If you thought Legado de Armida was Spanish for arm and a leg, it's time for Spanish lessons.

1995 Rutini Merlot, La Rural, Mendoza, pounds 6.99, Wine Cellar shops.

Made by Argentinian winemaker, Mariano di Paola, the Rutini range from the La Rural winery is both highly priced and highly prized in smart Buenos Aires restaurants.

Rutini Merlot is a sumptuous Pomerol-style red, with a promising cedary bouquet and a character which combines voluptuous cassis fruitiness with unobtrusively classy oak and succulently sweet tannins. For a memorable combination, try it with slow-cooked roast lamb with rosemary, anchovy and garlic.

1994 Conde de Valdemar Rioja Reserva, pounds 7.99, Thresher, Bottoms Up, Wine Rack.

If you haven't already cottoned on, 1994 and 1995 were two of the best back-to-back vintages in Rioja for a decade or more.

The quality of the former vintage shows in this classy reserva from Martinez Bujanda, with typical liquorice and aniseed undertones and oodles of herby, strawberry fruit richness.

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones