Categories
Sassy White Wines

JP Chenet Sauvignon Blanc (France)

Bubbly’s take

Can you not tell from the size of the bottle?? We picked this one up when it was our turn to cook and we needed to make pasta in flash (- a nice linguine recipe from Gino D’Campo). This punchy and fruity Sauvignon Blanc is widely available, and brought a deep and quenching flavour to dinner. Our only regret was not buying a bigger bottle. It’s the sort of wine to have when friends come over for a meal – you can use it as an apéritif, you can sip it while you’re cooking and you may even be able to add a splosh or two to your simmering dish.

Would go well with

Well, we used it to make a fishy linguine. We found this Sauvignon Blanc provided some balance to the not-so-subtle sardine, lemon and chilli we added to this (… we absolutely did deviate from recipe but that’s the way we cook!). Consequently, when used as an ingredient, we believe this wine can hold its own against stronger flavours. Even when used as a serving wine, we feel this is capable of reconciling itself with other heavier pasta-based dishes (- think lasagne, cannelloni or ravioli).

Where to buy

Tesco

Categories
Sassy White Wines

La Burgondie Bourgogne Aligoté (France)

Bubbly’s take

This crisp white wine is produced by a relatively new wine cooperative that harvests wine across a large region extending between Dijon and Lyon, with an express and equitable commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability. The Aligoté carries a fresh, brisk and lemony flavour. It’s a refreshingly dry wine that is a pleasure to drink when suitably chilled.

Would well with…

Cheese. We were very pleased to both drink and cook with this wine. The Aligoté made a perfect addition to a traditional Swiss-style fondue, reconciling several rather flavoursome cheeses in a rich and satisfying meal (which we also enjoyed with some fizz!):

Where to buy

Tesco

Categories
Classy Crémants

Crémant de Limoux Rosé (France)

Bubbly’s take

This striking Brut is widely available in Tesco. It’s light, fruity and very well-received. If you want to find a solid rosé Crémant without any fuss then we think this one could fit the bill.

Would go well with

We enjoyed this Crémant with a lovely cheese-based pasta dish. However, we think this could also be enjoyed as a wonderful apéritif with friends.

Where to buy

Tesco

Categories
Classy Crémants

Dopff & Irion Blanc de Blancs Crémant d’Alsace (France)

Bubbly’s take: This delightful Brut is everything we imagined a good sparkling wine to be. It’s dry yet delicate, and ornate yet enchanting. This Crémant is made in the fairytale-like region of Alsace in France, adjacent to the German border in the East. It is one of several fabulous-looking wines made by this enchanting vineyard. Dopff & Irion’s Blanc de Blancs blend is also an award-winner, having been given a bronze accolade during the 2019 Decanter Asia Wine Awards.

Would go well with: A Caesar salad…. we’re serious! This wine needs to shine so don’t combine it with anything too strong, otherwise you’ll risk overpowering its dry but well-refined notes. It would also work as an apéritif or with a light dessert (sorbet?).

Where to buy:.

Categories
Classy Crémants

Calvet Crémant de Bordeaux (France)

Bubbly’s take: This was a pleasant surprise. We’ll admit – we picked this one up at the supermarket, with only half a glance at the label. But we’re definitely glad we did! This Crémant brings a strong and chirpy taste to the palate. This is a pleasant-looking and versatile wine that will go well with most things. It’s a delight to drink straight from the fridge and we enjoyed cooking with this when we made grilled lime salmon with a tasty avocado-mango salsa (and enjoyed another glass with the dish!):

Would go well with: As we say, this is a versatile wine so we wouldn’t be shy about trying this with most dishes, be it a lunch or dinner, or a starter or main. Equally the Calvet Crémant would make a great apéritif. We enjoyed this with a fairly tangy fish dish (above); we noticed this Crémant was particularly good at moderating and reconciling sharp and sweet tastes so it should be able to hold its own with stronger recipes.

Where to buy:

Categories
Classy Crémants

Champ Divin Crémant du Jura Brut Zéro Dosage (France)

Bubbly’s take: We ordered this one straight from a wine broker and it turned out to be a great pick. The Champ Divin house produce their wine in a lush region in the east of France, not far from the Swiss border. Being a so-called “zéro dosage” Brut (something akin to being low sugar or no-added sugar), this Crémant is a little drier than some of its peers. But it is certainly not tart and we loved the depth of flavour this characterful wine possesses. It’s sharp but not overwhelming, bold but also sophisticated. We’re looking forward to ordering another bottle or two of this in the near future.

Would go well with: Itself, as an apéritif. Alternatively, we think this would be a great choice for a cheese-based dish (perhaps a soufflé).

Where to buy: .

Categories
Classy Crémants

Cave de Viré Crémant de Bourgogne (France)

Bubbly’s take: Another characterful Crémant found! This one comes out of the bottle with a pearly froth and a wonderfully pale complexion. Made by the Cave de Viré cooperative, with a cultivating area of around 240 hectares, this sparkling is one of several distinctive Crémants. This particular Crémant has a delicately fragrant and almost creamy taste that is reminiscent of citron and melon.

Would go well with: A sunny evening. We didn’t pair the Crémant de Bourgogne and we think it makes for a more unusual albeit delicate apéritif. That said, we think this Crémant would go well with a lighter starter, like a prawn cocktail or a tuna niçoise salad.

Where to buy: .

Categories
Classy Crémants

Prince Alexandre Crémant de Loire (France)

Bubbly’s take: We found this one by chance, while poodling around the supermarket for Friday night treats. We were heartened to find a growing selection of Crémants, recognising the significance of this wine appellation. This Loire Crémant has a profound character and certainly isn’t shy. It brings a dry, citrus-like and lasting flavour to the mouth. It is also a little sharper than some of the other Crémants that we have tried. However, that definitely stands to its favour – this wine is unequivocal and distinctive.

Would go well with: Itself.

Where to buy: .

Categories
Timeless Champagnes

Lanson Black Label Brut

Bubbly’s take

The Lanson house has been in business since 1760, making it one of the more well-established Champagne wineries. Yet this Reims-based vineyard has become one of the most visible producers, being a long-standing partner of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships. Unfortunately, we’re aware Lanson’s Black Label is sometimes seen as a “gift-giver” Champagne – ornate boxes of this mysterious wine are given and even “re-given” as reliable gifts. But we feel Lanson deserves special distinction – the Black Label Brut is something to be enjoyed and not merely gifted. The next time you buy it, make sure it’s bought to be drunk (preferably for yourself!) and not left to gather dust.

Would go well with

Canapés and nibbles. We’ve generally enjoyed this crisp Champagne at parties, gatherings and events, with light food. Equally, we feel this wine is also a solitary creature, more than capable of being enjoyed on its own (perhaps as a prelude to dinner). It’s also one of the few Champagnes that we’ve found is sufficiently robust to be paired with a (mild-medium) curry!

Where to buy

The Drink Shop

Categories
Timeless Champagnes

Louis Delaunay Champagne Brut

Bubbly’s take: From bottle to glass, this is slightly enigmatic Champagne presents itself with an almost auburn colour. It possesses pleasing and fulfilling notes that won’t disappoint. In our view, this Champagne house have developed an excellent Brut that combines a pleasant flavour with superb value. We believe every Champagne lover should keep a bottle of this dependable sparkling on the wine rack.

Would go well with: A Friday night. We’re serious! One Friday, when we were working from home, we opened this up a bottle of this just past 6pm. And what better way to see off the working week! While delicious on its own, we also enjoyed this with home-made pizza – this Champagne provides a great way to smarten-up a laid-back night-in.

Where to buy: .