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Other Surprising Specialties

Graham Beck Méthode Cap Classique Brut (South Africa)

Bubbly’s take…

This sparkling hails from South Africa and is made from a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. It is a reassuringly dry and strong wine, made not too far from Cape Town. Given we’re increasingly accustomed to (read: ‘spoilt by’) Champagnes and Crémants, the Graham Beck made a refreshing change and this wine is testimony to some of the contemporary rivals that can be found beyond the traditional wine-making regions. It looks great and comes out of the bottle with an excitable fizz hence we think this one would make an elegant and reasonably-priced party-pleaser.

Would go well with…

The Graham Beck is quite a robust wine with a big personality so we think it caters well to meals and nibbles with strong flavours. Cheeses, seafood and citrus-based dishes would make a good pairing with this sparkling.

Where to buy…

Majestic Wine

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Dom Maxwell Riesling (New Zealand)

Bubbly’s take…

This Riesling is a real mid-week wonder. We enjoyed this on a Tuesday evening over dinner. This is a deliciously soft white wine. It has a lovely floral flavour, with a subtle hint of water melon. What we really like about this one is the absence of an acidic or acrid aftertaste; it is a clean and refreshing white wine. We look forward to sampling more from this intriguing winemaker.

Would go well with…

Salmon or another light fish or seafood dish.

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Spier Sauvignon Blanc (South Africa)

Bubbly’s take…

This Sauvignon Blanc hails from the New World though that’s a little hard to believe given the Spier winery has been in business for over 300 years! Placing emphasis on ecological and community sustainability and value, Spier seem to have an aptitude for making good wine that you can feel good about drinking. And this Sauvignon Blanc certainly is different. It’s a bold white wine that’s full of zesty fruit and a punchy fragrance. That said, it’s not an overpowering wine and we found ourselves eager for another glass of this spectacular Sauvignon Blanc. Served chilled, we think this would be a superb wine to enjoy on a sunny day.

Would go well with…

Interestingly, it’s difficult to say. Don’t get us wrong – this is a versatile wine. It comes with a full but not overpowering flavour hence it should suit many dishes. We enjoyed this with a Turkish Pide Pizza (- check out this blog for a recipe!), providing a solid counterbalance to a robust meal made of bread, cheese, olives and sausage. We definitely wouldn’t be afraid to share a bottle of this at a dinner party!

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Virgin Bubbles

McGuigan Zero Sparkling Alcohol-free Wine

Bubbly’s take

We’re delighted to showcase another virgin wine from an established winery. As low- and no-alcohol wines go, we found this sparkling to have a good depth of flavour. It looks, tastes and froths like an (alcoholised) Australian sparkling wine, and represents a convincing and compelling substitute that should form part of any low-alcohol wine purveyor’s repertoire.

Would go well with

Fish and cheese.

Where to buy

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Bubbly’s take

So… while we did (in fact) drink this wine, we used it as an additional ingredient in a yummy vegetarian paella. It’s a crisp, refreshing and punchy Sauvignon Blanc, from a well-recognised winery. It’s definitely not just any old “cooking wine”. This Sauvignon Blanc is something to enjoy before cooking, while cooking and after cooking, over carefree chatter and good food.

Would go well with

Mediterranean cuisine. As noted, we think this Sauvignon Blanc makes a robust cooking wine hence it would go well in a paella, risotto or lighter pasta dish. It’s also one of those wines that you really want to keep on standby, with a bottle or two on the rack for recipes and nights in.

Where to buy

Waitrose Cellar

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Small and Small Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)

Bubbly’s take

This refreshing Sauvignon Blanc hails from a very small Marlborough winery (- no pun intended; Claudia Small and Bill Small are the masterminds behind it). Despite this wine’s humble origins, it made a big splash with us. Being part of the New World, Small and Small have produced a playful and original Sauvignon Blanc, with a fruity personality. We traced notes of melon and citrus in this bold wine.

Would go well with

A Caesar salad, bread, tapas or canapés. But whether you have it with nibbles or not, we think this wine is best enjoyed with good company.

Where to buy

Naked Wines