New to Fizz?

Below are some hints and tips if you’re new to sparkling wine.

Never tried a sparkling wine before? Prosecco is a good place to start as it’s easy to drink and fruity and the price point means you won’t feel too upset if you’re not a complete fan. Cava and Crémant are also valuable to help determine whether you want to trade right up to champagne. They’re a good introduction as they are made in the same way as champagne, slightly less dry and generally not as expensive.

If you’re a fan of dry white wines with good acidity such as New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Chablis, Albarino and Riesling consider a non vintage champagne and look for extra brut or brut zero.

Do you like buttery or creamy white wines such as a Chardonnay (with a bit of oak), Semillon, or Viognier? In that case you may like a blanc de blancs or vintage champagne.

How about if you’re a committed red wine drinker and fizz just doesn’t float your boat! You’ll be pleased to learn there are a few sparkling reds out there! Grasparossa is a dry Lambrusco which is full-bodied and has good tannin levels. You may prefer something even more full bodied? Try an Australian sparkling shiraz. Perfect with BBQs or pizzas.

Also worth knowing:

  • Cap Classique is the premium sparkling wine from South Africa, made in the Cape and fuller bodied and fruitier than champagne.
  • Franciacorta is made in Italy, in the same way as champagne and it’s aged longer than the minimum time required for non-vintage champagne. The warmer climate and longer ageing make for yummy flavours of crusty bread, hazelnuts and toffee. What’s not to like?
  • New kids on the block are pet nats. They are naturally sparkling and made using a method which predates champagne. The wine is put in the bottle before the first fermentation is finished (before all the sugar in the wine has been fermented into alcohol) so there’s minimal intervention by the winemaker.

Hope that’s whetted your curiosity. Plus, it’s highly unlikely you’ve escaped the rain this month and it looks like there’s more on the way for many of us. Perhaps it’s time to bring some joy into June – with a bottle of champagne or some sparkling wine! Why wait for a special occasion? Make the fizz the occasion.