Categories
Timeless Champagnes Uncategorized

Ayala Champagne Brut Majeur

Bubbly’s take…

A little more demure, the Ayala house have been making Champagne for over 160 years (- you can read more here). With such experience in viticulture, we sampled the Brut Majeur with gusto. When we come to think of Champagne, we tend to think of it as a quintessentially dry wine. And this Champagne certainly fulfilled our expectations. It has a reassuringly dry, crisp and rich flavour. This is also quite a direct and uncomplicated wine with a refreshing little punch. That being said, the Brut Majeur is a varietal, being produced from a few different grapes, hence we feel it is certainly not a bland Champagne.

Would go well with…

We had this with a delicious Thai takeaway. At first, it seemed an unlikely pairing however we found the Brut Majeur complemented many of the refined flavours (of lemongrass, nut and tamarind) that are manifest in Thai cuisine.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Timeless Champagnes

Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial

Bubbly’s take…

This Brut is both a wonderful Champagne and a wonderful Rosé! We received this at Christmas in one of those big, elaborate boxes hence we had high expectations, particulary as the esteemed Moët & Chandon house now counts Louis Vutton amongst its corporate siblings. What really surprised us about this wine is it presents a great pairing of a sublime Rosé with a crisp Champagne. We’ve found few wines that can reconcile a wholesome Rosé with a dry sparkling. It’s a characterful and charming Champagne, and one we’re eager to try again soon.

Would go well with…

Canapés, cheese, shortbread, petit fours and other nice nibbles.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Dominic Hentall Primitivo (Italy)

Bubbly’s take…

This one comes out of the bottle with a fiery shade of burgundy. It has a bold and fierce flavour, making it perfectly enticing for heartier dishes. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t one of those pungent or “tannin-rich” red wines that leave a bitter after-taste. Instead, its fruity and deliciously reminiscent of Italian holidays.

Would go well with…

Cheese and lots of it!

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Incredible Cavas

Vilarnau Rosé Brut Cava

Bubbly’s take…

What a lovely sparkling rosé! Made by the esteemed Vilarnau house, this is a very floral Cava. If you are looking for a rosé Cava that has a fruity bouquet then this is the one for you. It comes out of the bottle with a pleasant shade of rose gold and brings a cocktail of flavours – reminiscent of summer berries – to the palate. We found the Vilarnau Rosé a pleasure to enjoy at a very reasonable price!

Would go well with…

Mild cheeses or dessert. That being said, we loved the flavour of this Cava so we think it works perfectly well by itself. We also think this is a great wine to share with friends, family or even just a beatiful (rosé) sunset.

Where to buy

Tesco

The Drink Shop (‘delicate’ version – not reviewed)

Categories
Timeless Champagnes Uncategorized

Palmer & Co. Brut Resérve Champagne

Bubbly’s take…

This one is a real “no-nonsense” wine. Made in Reims, we think this Champagne would suit anyone who prefers a clear and more pointed brut, without layered or complicated flavours. This is quite a potent wine hence it would make quite a firecracker for the right occasion! We enjoyed this as part of our New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Would go well with…

We enjoyed the Palmer & Co. with nibbles but we would’ve loved to have had this with dinner. As above, this is a fairly robust Champagne so we think it could pair well with richer meals.

Where to buy…

Vivino

Categories
Timeless Champagnes Uncategorized

Bollinger Special Cuvée

Bubbly’s take…

Rest assured, there are innumerable reasons why Bollinger can be described as one of the finer Champagne houses, many of which have already been eloquently recounted. With that said, we decided to try out one of Bolly’s premium Champagnes, the Special Cuvée, to see what the hype is all about.

We were extremely pleased with this brut. The Special Cuvée was one of our Christmas Champagnes (… very much needed after 2020) and it didn’t disappoint. This is a bold Champagne with a ‘straight-to-point’ signature flavour. It comes out of the bottle in a beautiful shade with a playful mousse. Bolly’s Special Cuvée is reassuringly dry, deliciously tart and carries an aromatic fragrance.

Would go well with…

Given our festive tasting, we’d have to say Christmas dinner. However, we loved pairing the Special Cuvée with some particularly flavoursome blue cheese. Otherwise this Champagne is a fitting heavyweight for all manner of special occasions.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Incredible Cavas

Castillo Perelada Stars Brut Nature Reserva

Bubbly’s take…

We stumbled upon this one mainly because we were quite taken with its starry label and a timeless quote by Dom Pérignon. Yet there’s a lot more to the Perelada house than glitzy labels; this winery has been producing in Catalonia, Spain since medieval times – think of a turreted castle, complete with a moat and swans. Perelada make a variety of wines though, in this auspicious Cava, we found plenty of character and depth. The Stars Brut is a refreshing yet smoky sparkling. This Cava is assuredly crisp and charming but also possesses an evocative flavour that speaks to Perelada’s esteemed wine-making tradition.

Would go well with…

A heart paella. Great Cava like this can, of course, be enjoyed solo or as an apéritif. However, to make the most of this enchanting wine, we think the Stars Brut deserves a fitting Spanish feast complete with candlelight and the Gipsy Kings.

Where to buy…

The Drink Shop

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Sacchetto Pinot Grigio Blush (Italy)

Bubbly’s take…

We believe good wine is like great music – if it hits the right notes then it can create the perfect mood and atmosphere. That’s exactly what we found with this evocative Italian wine. It comes from the bottle in a warming shade of magnolia. The Sacchetto is a Pinot Grigio yet it’s also described as a Rosé (though we think ‘blush’ is a much more fitting description)! Its flavour is also finely-balanced, neither too soft or sweet, nor too tart or dry. A most versatile wine, we feel the Sacchetto is therefore something of a miraculous chameleon.

Would go well with…

Friends, drinks and nibbles. As we mentioned, we think this blush wine is quite adaptable so it’s perfectly pleasant to enjoy solo. But it also makes a great backing to canapés and should pair well with most dishes.

Where to buy…

Naked Wines

Categories
Brassy Red Wines

Fauno (Spain)

Bubbly’s take…

The Fauno is made by the Valencia-based Murviedro winery, which produces a range of red and white low alcohol, vegan and low calorie wines (amongst the usual strength brew!). This particular varietal is made from a blend of Garnacha, Shiraz and Monastrell grapes hence it evokes potent and fruity flavours. While the Fauno is a full-bodied wine, it is promoted for its lower calorie and sugar content. Don’t worry though – this red wine is full of flavour and character.

Would go well with…

We enjoyed this with dinner – tuna steaks for yours truly (being a pescatarian) and fillet steaks with peppercorn sauce for the others. We think the Fauno makes for a sublime pairing with heartier or meat-based dishes, which demand a robust wine to moderate heavier ingredients.

Where to buy…

Skinny Booze

Categories
Sassy White Wines

Pique-Nique (France)

Bubbly’s take…

Yes, we did have to Google Translate the name of this wine and yes – it does mean “Picnic”. This striking white wine is produced by Benjamin Darnault, who is something of a prodigal wine-maker from France.

We tried the 2019 Pique-Nique, which is a real ‘no-nonsense’ white wine. It has a rich and floral flavour. This wine is, however, not too tart – glass after glss, it’s pleasant and very agreeable. We also think this one would make a great cooking wine, perhaps being a fitting addition to a paella recipe. A well-rounded white wine at a very reasonable price.

Would go well with…

Those midweek nights that call for great white wine without any fuss. Best served well-chilled!

Where to buy…

Naked Wines