Bright and breezy bubbles for Indian summer evenings
Looking for a delicious (and affordable) glass of sparkling wine to toast the last few days of summer? Our resident wine expert Helena Nicklin (aka Winebird) shares her favourite Indian summer picks.
Although it might not feel it right now, it’s a bit early to call time on summer. The kids may be back at school this week, but there’s still the chance of a last gasp of warmth with an Indian summer.
And if we are lucky enough to be graced with some more heat this year, here are some delicious sparkling wines that offer truly excellent value for money. They’re perfect for those Indian summer evenings when you’re bored of Prosecco, want more fruitiness than a Cava, and are looking for more easy-going bubbles than Champagne – oh and all for under £11…
Exquisite Collection Crémant du Jura from ALDI
‘Crémant’ means that the wine is made in the same, ‘traditional method’ as Champagne and comes from France, but outside the Champagne region.
They can be amazing value and these this one is no exception: made with 100% Chardonnay, this complex and classy, but easy drinking fizz is from France’s least known wine region: Jura. For the price, it represents the best value traditional method sparkler I’ve come across! It puts many cheap champagnes to shame.
Buy Exquisite Collection Crémant du Jura, £7.49 from ALDI
Bouvet Saumur Rosé Brut from Majestic
Another crémant but this time, from the Loire valley and using, rather unusually, the red Cabernet Franc grape. A crisp and clean style of rosé that’s light in colour and body, with a cranberry tang on the finish.
Buy Bouvet Saumur Rosé Brut, £9.99 from Majestic (Mix six price)
Cleto Chiarli ‘Pignoletto’ Modén Blanc Brut from Waitrose
Pignoletto is an Italian sparkling wine style that has been dubbed ‘the new Prosecco’. Made with a grape called Grechetto Gentile (rather than Glera) and hailing from Emilia Romagna (rather than the Veneto), this one is floral and elegant, appley and drier than its aroma.
Buy Cleto Chiarli ‘Pignoletto’ Modén Blanc Brut, Italy, £9.99 from Waitrose
Graham Beck Brut NV from Majestic
This traditional sparkling wine, or ‘Méthode Cap Classique’ as the process is called in South Africa, is made with the two key champagne grapes (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) and is a regular feature at parties in my house. Full of flavour, rich, yeasty and unpretentious.
For that price too, you can make even the smallest occasion – like getting through kiddie homework – sparkle.
Buy Graham Beck Brut NV, £10.99 from Majestic (mixed six price)
Winebird is a freelance writer, presenter and author of VINALOGY: wine basics with a twist! You can follow her on Twitter, and find her on YouTube.