As I said yesterday, we have a thing in the family about Christmas morning. We get up, someone throws the bacon under the grill, we toast up then butter the breakfast muffins, and tuck in with a bottle of sparkling wine…well I say “a” bottle, obviously it’s not just the one. We’ve got a big family these days!
Pretty important for me then is that the wine is made by the Traditional Method. This is the method made famous in Champagne and Cava, and now all across the world. It uses the dead yeast in the wine to give it slightly bready flavours. That makes it go great with the muffins. The richness goes well with the butter, and the acidity copes really well with the fat of the bacon. Dear me it’s good. So here are the 3 picks from me…
Under A Tenner
Château De Bonhoste NV, Crémant De Bordeaux, £12.90 from 20h33
Ok, so it’s not quite under a tenner, but it’s near as damn it! Crémant is made all over France from whichever grapes are local to the region. Crément De Loire is arguably the most well known, but Alsace, Burgundy, Jura, and Bordeaux all make good wines.
Money Is No Object
Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque 2006, Champagne, £97.50 from Waitrose Cellar (currently 25% off)
I have this gripe about Champagne. The “entry level” stuff from the Grand Marques are a bit of a rip off. I think if you’ve got £30-£40 to spend on bubbles, then you could do a lot better than just one bottle of standard Champagne. Champagne becomes untouchable though when you head into Vintage Champagnes. Most years Champagnes are made from a blend of different years, but if a harvest one year is sufficiently great then they call a vintage and make the wines from grapes from just that year. They cost a lot more, of course they do, but they’re nearly other-worldly!
Leckford Estate Brut NV, England, £29.99 from Waitrose Cellar
Struggle to call this a Wildcard really. Anyone who has followed wine for the last few years knows that English Sparkling Wine is now taking its place on the top table, and rightly so. And with production set to double in the next decade, now is a great time to get used to the differences between wines from Cornwall and from Sussex, from Wales and from Kent.