Champagne is of course the world's best known sparkling wine. A symbol of wealth and status, lauded in the pages of celebrity magazines and synonymous with romance and love - it's a surefire way to impress.
The problem with Champagne though, are those very reasons. It has become the symbol of decadence and superficiality and, rightly or wrongly, it has an incredibly high reputation. And with that reputation comes a high price.
Nowadays though, this is not the impediment it once was. The quality of these alternative sparklings has increased dramatically and the costs are much lower than their French cousin. Sales in the sparkling wine category topped €4.6 billion last year, and prosecco sales in the U.K. reached over €600 million, which equates for more than 75% of all European sales and we drink 2.5 times more than drinkers in its native Italy.
Here, we look at some of the alternatives that we like, and hopefully you will too.
Pale yellow colour. Fresh, complex aroma that mixes pastry notes from the cava’s 36-month aging with light hints of fresh fruit from the base wine. Fresh and smooth on the palate, with very fine bubbles that perfectly complement the wine's complexity. An elegant, serious finish, long and dry, bringing out the essential flavour of the cava.
An elegant sparkling wine with gently frothy citrus fruit character. Bread and toasted almonds hit the nose. Well rounded with hints of peach and tangy acidity followed by a long, appetizing finish. The perfect balance between ripe and crisp. A delicious alternative to Prosecco or Champagne.
Pale straw in colour. The wine shows aromas and flavours of orchard fruit, citrus, almonds and white flowers, with soft bubbles and a beautiful complexity of flavour on the palette. Ideal for celebrations.
Lively pear fruit and white flowers lead the way in this stylish Prosecco. It’s a little drier and more serious than some but has an energy and floral lift that is very appealing.
Bodega Ruca Malen is a boutique winery in Mendoza set up in 1998 by owners Jean-Pierre Thibauld and Jacques Louis de Montalembert. Together, the friends have lived their dream and founded their own winery where they concentrate on making premium wines largely from Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Fresh and elegant. Full of citric and white flowers notes. Some toasted almonds and fresh bread aromas shows up adding complexity. Creamy and fresh in the mouth with a long and fruity aftertaste.