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Fizz to Put a Spring in Your Step

Posted on 5th Apr 2016 @ 1:42 PM

Fizz to put a Spring in your step

Prosecco is a runaway locomotive of sparkling success but surely the wheels will come off sometime soon with production already at maximum levels and sales continuing to grow, prices are rising and I suspect quality is falling as producers cut corners in order to meet demand. Therefore this month I thought I might look at some alternative sparkling wines.

Durello Vino Spumante

This little known grape variety from the Veneto in Italy (the region were Prosecco is produced) produces a wine with racy acidity and lemon scented freshness. Durello will never be a serious commercial rival- though it’s become very trendy in Verona bars and restaurants, total production is tiny less than 0.5% of Prosecco. But retailing at around £1 a bottle less with a bit more depth of flavour than its famous neighbour perhaps it’s time has come.

Cremant de Limoux

This wine comes from the most westerly appellation in the Languedoc region of France where the skyline is dominated by an imposing Mountain known as the Pic de Bugarach. It is made like Champagne by the ‘Traditionelle Methode’ that is secondary fermentation within bottle. However a local grape variety is used here called Mauzac that gives the wines their distinctive appley aromas and flavours. Mauzac is often blended with Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc or Pinot Noir to give the wine more depth. It typically retails for around £12.00

Cava

Cava is also made by the Traditional Method and whilst the supermarkets have some poor mass produced examples this can and should be a wine of serious quality.

Cava can come from a few limited, official areas in Spain, not just one area.  The most productive area for Cava, and the most renown, is in North East Spain, near Barcelona, also known as Penedès.  There is also Cava in Rioja, Utiel-Requena, Ribera del Guadiana, and Cariñena

Most of these cavas are made from 2 or 3 grapes.  The traditional, native grapes for Cava are Viura (aka Macabeo), Xarello, and Parellada though increasingly Chardonnay is included in the blend lending a creamy richness to the wine.

Cremant de Loire

The Loire Valley in France produces some tremendous sparkling wines with producers such as Gratien & Meyer and Langlois Chateau to the front. The wines can be made from Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay Cabernet Franc and even occasionally Pinot Noir but are generally a blend of some of these. The wines are again fermented within bottle and the better producers leave their wines to age on the lees for at least two years in order to add complexity. They are brilliant food wines working well with fish dishes and Chinese dishes.

English Sparkling

Finally I should put in a mention for our Fizz we really are becoming world class producers of the stuff. I tasted several good ones earlier this week,. Names to look out for include Nyetimber, Chapel Down, Gusbourne, Balfour, Henners, Ridgeview and our own local wine from Ryedale Vintners called Taste of Paradise. They may be a little more expensive than Prosecco but are a treat worth having.

Given that there is some research proving that Champagne or Sparkling wine can help protect you from the onset of Alzeimhers due to the way it lifts our moods I suggest you pop a cork very soon

 

Cheers

 

I wrote this article originally for Howdenshire Living Magazinewww.howdenshireliving.co.uk