The 10 Best Sparkling wines
1. Freixenet Elyssia Rosado Cava
Silence your inner snob, this Freixenet rosé is actually a fine alternative to champagne. The wine is made in the standard champagne manner – although in addition to the pinot noir they've also added some trepat grapes for a tart berry-rich finish.
2. Tesco finest blanquette de limoux
The supermarket gives a surprisingly good showing with this bottle from limoux in the Languedoc. It's strong in appley flavours and is unusually weighty for something in its price range.
3. Lanson black label
The slow maturation process Lanson's black label champagne goes through give it a wonderfully smooth, moussey texture, which goes especially well with fish. Taste-wise, it's very fruity and fresh – if a little on the dry side.
4. R De Ruinart
It's not the cheapest of champagnes by any means, but even at £30 Ruinart's offering remains an absolute steal. It has a wonderfully iridescent glistening, gold hue to it and a delicate, light fruity flavour – the result of its high percentage (60 per cent) of pinot noir grapes.
5. Crémant de Bourgogne Brut Rosé
Loire Valley gamay grapes meet pinot noir and make merry in this rosé sparkling wine, which is exclusive to The Vintner. It's strawberries and all things nice in a glass, with a beautifully clean and crisp finish that makes it a great aperitif.
6. M&S Blanc de Blancs
M&S has gone all out with its range of champagnes and sparkling wines this year, putting 40 different varieties on the shelves. Its delicate blanc de blancs, which is made from 100 per cent chardonnay grapes, is a particular triumph.
7. Sainsbury's Blanc de Blancs
So you may not be able to get hold of Sainsbury's much-praised Taste the Difference English sparkling wine for love or money, but its elegant and slightly acidic blanc de blancs champagne goes some way to filling the festive void.
8. Laurent-Perrier Vintage 2002
Laurent-Perrier only declares a vintage when the year's grapes are of top-notch quality. And when you taste this wispy, lemony champagne with its blend of 50 per cent chardonnay and 50 per cent pinot noir it's easy to see why 2002 got the nod.
9. Prosecco Colli Trevigiani
Fond of the bubbles but not so keen on the acidity and dryness of most affordable champagnes? Then check out this gentle prosecco from a vineyard in Colli Trevigiani. It's great chilled on its own or as a base in a sparkling cocktail.
10. Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top
It's all high-kicking, full-bodied flavour with Heidsieck's affordable Blue Top champagne. It has a tang of lemon and blackcurrant and goes hand in glove with leftover turkey or those prawn canapés on New Year's Eve.
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