How to make your Christmas sparkle

Christmas time is fine wine time and there's nothing quite as festive as a row of elegant long glasses filled with bubbles. It’s time, however, to move on from the often-acidic and underwhelming Champagne offered by many supermarkets and expand our horizons to find something new. Not sure how to distinguish one sparkling wine from another? Let me help you select the right bubbles to see in – and see you through – 2013: Sparkling English wine: only a few years ago, most of our local fizz was quietly patronised by those ‘in the know’.. How fast things have changed! Nowadays, oozing with confidence, accolades pilling up and comparisons to Champagne being made, English sparkling wines are going from strength to strength. Set aside your preconceptions and see out this Jubilee year by filling your glasses with some local pride, bubbles and joy. . . Prosecco: the lighter, softer and less formal option, this is the perfect way to kick off the evening. Light and casual, however, can also mean delicate and delicious. Try to look for the small, independent producers found in specialized wine shops or in our online shop. Coste Piane Prosecco is one of our favourites. Made in the traditional methode Champenoise, this offers a richness and complexity usually associated with Champagne but for a Prosecco price. Cava: not all Cavas are born equal and a lot of the cava we know gives the drink an unfairly bad name. There are, however, a few artisanal producers who still make the real thing: rich and elegant sparkling wines which age gracefully. A far cry from your supermarket Cava, Josep and Antoni Mata Casanovas from Cava Recaredo produce one of our absolute favourites, Brut Nature Gran Reserva. Using organic and natural fertilisers only, with no use of irrigation, their Cava is a real gem: gentle and very sophisticated. More than five years old it is rich and complex in style and will surprise all the Cava sceptics out there.
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