Starting Christmas day with Champagne is a well-worn tradition but with the ranges of sparkling wine now on offer, why not start your celebrations with something a little different?
Clerkenwell London’s resident wine expert, Pauline Vickard, has scoured the globe for this selection of sparkling wines from boutique and intriguing producers, including a wine from Pemberton, Australia made in the same style as Champagne but with relaxed Australian personality, a very accessible Crémant from an up and coming Bourgogne region, a showstopping Prosecco and a family winery Champagne just in case you want to stick with tradition.
With so many Proseccos available, it can be difficult to know what to go for, but this 47 AD Prosecco is everything a Prosecco should be: festive, joyful, fruity yet balanced and fresh. It will certainly make your guests stop and wonder where it’s from! Available at clerkenwell-london.com and in-store at Clerkenwell London at £12.80.
The Riddler, Larry Cherubino
Husband and wife duo, Larry Cherubino is a small producer, who only bought their first parcel of land in the Frankland River in 2004 although the founders have a wide winemaking history. Edwina’s British ancestors planted the first vines in the Frankland River in the 1800s and Larry’s immediate family also owned a small vineyard.
This Australian sparkling wine is made using the same grape varieties as Champagne: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay and is named after the riddling process in Champagne production. This is where the bottles are flipped upside down allowing all the sediment to drop to the cap of the bottle so it can be easily removed. It’s very much a New World wine in its signature so is approachable and fruity but less austere than Champagne, making it a great sparkler to have with close friends and family in a relaxed environment. Available at Clerkenwell London at £16.80.
Champagne Hébrart Cuvée de Réserve 1er Cru
This small, family run producer is run by Jean-Paul Hébrart who took over from his father in 1995. Their Premier Cru has a big majority of Pinot Noir, as traditionally in France, Champagne is to be paired with food. This majority makes the wine a little less delicate with more earthiness making it interesting to pair with food and the variety that comes with a Christmas dinner. Available at Clerkenwell London at £32.80.
Domaine des Gandines Crémant de Bourgogne
This classic Crémant is certified organic and is made using the same method as Champagne and with the same grape varieties. The winery is in South Burgundy which is the new up and coming region, making really good, interesting wines for an accessible price. This Crémant could be placed somewhere between Champagne and Prosecco, it’s concentrated yet fresh with a creamy texture. Available at Clerkenwell London at £22.00
Courtgarden Classic Cuvée
This East Sussex based winery won bronze for this Classic Cuvée at the 2016 International Wine Challenge and it’s clear why. This sparkling wine represents the excellent quality and potential of English wine and uses the same production techniques as classic Champagne. It has the freshness, elegance and creaminess desired in a sparkling wine but with that English country garden in the summer feeling, full of greenery and joy. Available at Clerkenwell London at £29.00.