Champagne Summer – TOP 3 UNDER 40 (From Cheap to Chic)
August Bank Holiday Weekend may officially mark the ‘end of summer’ here in the UK, but let’s not whinge just yet because Blighty has won big on international sport and enjoyed more sunny days in 2013 than anyone can remember. I’ve also been lucky enough to taste my way around Champagne from rare prestige cuvees like vintage Krug (heaven in a glass at 175) all the way to Aldi’s award winning house champagne called Veuve Monsigny (an altogether light refreshing uncomplicated go to drop that’s the perfect party tipple or cocktail base at only 12.95).
What’s more practically every week since I arrived in the UK in late May, at least two of the main supermarket chains have offered a super duper deal on one of the grandes maisons champagnes, which has tipped these normally forty pound plus beauties into the under twenty pounds bracket. If you happen to have champagne tastes on a beer budget, this price point is definitely the category to watch…
(Top tip follow @champagnejayne on twitter for regular unbiased champagne bargain updates)
For those of you who really can’t live without the positive mental boost a medicinal glass of champagne always brings, please don’t forget there’s also gold to be found in your favourite local supermarket. For instance Tescos and Sainsburys brilliant own label champagnes make great ‘daily rations’ and are actually selected and made for them by quite famous producers (Union Champagne Avize and Champagne Duval Leroy respectively) regularly winning major awards in blind tasting line ups against their premium priced champagne siblings. NB the house champagnes from Asda and Waitrose have also just won gold medals at this year’s IWSC (International Wine & Spirit Competition)
(Top Tip never judge a bottle of champagne just by its label or its price tag)
UK Bank Holiday 2013 Champagne Bargain Bootycall – Top 3 Under 40
This weekend whether you find yourself under sunny skies or raindrops, Champagne Mumm Cordon Rouge is a big gun name to impress your mates with and also a classic sporty champagne style that suits any occasion. As a red fruit dominant champagne it’s easy drinking but shows poise and structure – newly available on special at Tescos for only 16.99 – I recommend buying at least a six pack quick smart! But don’t march past Tescos own label Finest 1er Cru Champagne either. This creamy, mature and pleasingly fruity champagne style also punches well above its weight in quality/price terms, seducing unsuspecting champagne lovers with its nutty lush palate – yours for only 19.99 any day of the week.
(Top tip this champagne is regularly on special around 15 when you buy at least two bottles, or 20% off in a mixed six pack. Big shout out to the power of Tesco Clubcard!).
Last but not least Sainsburys own Blancs de Noir champagne first came to my attention several years ago online and continues to impress me with its honey and spice meaty champagne notes and satisfying palate length. This is a brilliant food wine – think grilling, barbecues etc. Even better Sainsburys Blanc de Noirs champagne is currently available on special in magnum (ie 2 standard bottles or 1.5 litres) at only 39.99!
Top Tip -the reason magnums are so good is three fold. Firstly because relatively speaking there is a smaller air to wine ratio ratio in the neck of a larger format bottle (ie the ullage – the space between the wine and the cork) champagne in magnums evolves more slowly which means the wine inside tastes fresher than the same cuvee served from a standard 750ml bottle. Secondly there is nothing more spine tinglingly joyful than watching someone pour you a sparkling flute from a huge champagne bottle because you know you’ll get at least another glass of the good stuff very soon. And thirdly as Winston Churchill once famously said “a magnum of champagne is just the right size for two gentlemen when one of them is not drinking”.
So what are you waiting for go pop your cork and tell me which champagne are you?
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