Anthony Rose: 'I'm not surprised that we're drinking a lot more affordable fizz'

I don't as a rule find wine trade reports a riveting read but one line that caught the eye recently was "five million people in the UK drink sparkling wine at least once a week". I wasn't surprised to see that not only are we the biggest guzzlers of Champagne outside France, but that we're also drinking a lot more affordable fizz from elsewhere.

It stands to reason. It's not just that we all want the good life but don't necessarily have the budget to keep ourselves in the style to which we'd like to be accustomed. As much to the point, sparkling wines around the globe have improved beyond measure. In California, New Zealand and Australia, it's often been the result of champagne know-how and investment while in the case of cava and prosecco, it's the domestic industries doing the pulling up of the bootstraps.

Prosecco is popular because of its reasonable price and the instant appeal of fresh pear-like sweetness. The saccharine appeal can pall with more than one glass but it doesn't have to. Tesco's Finest Bisol Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, £7.99, down from £9.99 until 30 April, manages the apple and pear flavours with an appealing freshness and a crisp sherbety tang to the finish that creates a mouthwatering impression of dryness.

Cava is another region that's much improved through better technology and savoir-faire. At the most recent Marks & Spencer tasting, I was immensely impressed with the Organic Okhre Cava Brut Nature NV, £9.99, not just for its lemony aromatics but a mouthwatering mousse of richly nutty fruit.

I'm a fan, too, of the fragrant pinot noir-scented and strawberryish 1 + 1 =3 Rosé Selecció* Cava U Mes U Fan Tres, £11.99, champagnewarehouse.com. And I am seriously impressed with the complexity of Gramona's cavas, notably the 2007 Brut Nature Gran Reserva, £16.95, Berry Bros & Rudd (0800 280 2440), whose appley fizz with its richly developed bouquet is a stylish, food-friendly sparkler.

The country that's most rapidly gaining plaudits for its thrilling sparkling wines is our very own green and pleasant land. To whet the appetite for more, you might try the youthful orchard-fruit bubbles of Mike Roberts and family's exceptional, dry 2009 Ridgeview Merret South Ridge Brut, £19,99, Laithwaites or Chapel Down's English Sparkling Rosé NV, £22, Marks & Spencer, with its fine depth of tangy cranberry fruit. Until English fizz dances to the tunes of the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, let these be your harbingers of a summer of flag-waving euphoria.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - major leisure brand

    £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Partner

    £25000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Partner is required to ...

    Recruitment Genius: Car Sales Executive - OTE £36,000

    £12500 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This established Knaresborough ...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Day In a Page

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003