Gaby from the team at Bubbly Bandits recommends her top picks for Christmas fizz
1) For an elegant, premium sparkling wine that can easily compete with high quality champagne – but at a more affordable price point – I’d suggest a Durello Riserva Cortenera. This comes from an indigenous grape, namely durella, grown on volcanic and basaltic soil in the mountains of Verona – the city of Romeo and Juliet. It’s a vegan, organic wine, with a straw-yellow hue and a rich bouquet of tropical fruits. The foam is thick and creamy and the perlage is delicate but firm. On the palate, the taste is direct with a spicy finish.
Price: around £40
2) Dirty Durello is a great, high-quality unfiltered fizz. Made with the Champagne method (also known as the traditional method), it has a misty appearance and can be filtered before serving – or you can just enjoy the lees in the bottle and in your glass (my personal preference). Vegan, organic and aged for a minimum of three years, this wine is perfect for those looking for something a bit different and fun!
Price: around £30
3) For those in love with traditional fizz made with grapes such as chardonnay and pinot noir, I would look into Peri Bigogno’s Talento selection, which includes a two-year-old chardonnay for £30 and a three-year-old rosé made with 75% pinot noir for £32.
4) If you are looking for a red wine to pair with your turkey this Christmas, or to take to a dinner with friends, then I suggest a good Amarone. Or, if that is a bit too strong and jammy for your liking, a good alternative is a Farina Valpolicella or a La Cappuccina Merlot. Both are high-quality reds with notes of cherry and red berries that pair well with meat but can also be enjoyed on their own.
Price: £20 to £25 a bottle
5) A great alternative to prosecco is the Alpone Blu brut, a lovely blend of durella and garganega grapes. It’s new and affordable and with a lovely strong mineralogy and notes of white wildflowers that just fits in so well with fried food and pizza. There is also the extra dry Alpone Giallo (yellow label) for those who enjoy sweeter fizz.
Price: around £25
6) Last but not least, for those in love with Valpolicella reds, there’s something new in town: the Tre Talestri Valpolicella. Made from the same grapes as the Valpolicella marvellous red, this is a golden-yellow white sparkling wine (so technically a ‘blanc de noir’). Creamy and silky with intriguing notes of blackcurrants and cherry, this remarkable wine is sure to surprise the palate as the taste is something you probably haven’t ever tasted before. An absolute novelty!
Price: around £38
If you’re interested in ordering any of the wines mentioned here, get in touch with Gaby via the contact form on the Bubbly Bandits website.