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Bringing a sparkle to February…

By Julia Jenkins, 5th February 2022

February is here already, why not continue the wine adventure started in January with ‘Tryanuary’s theme of trying new tastes to find new favourite wines. With Valentine’s Day looming one obvious start is sparkling wine for February……

Rosé wines are a classic Valentine choice and the array of champagnes and sparkling wines, including those from England, is ever increasing. Why not make your gift stand out by choosing a delicious stylish wine from an unusual country or grape variety that you haven’t tried before. Experimenting can be fun and buying out of your comfort zone of Prosecco or Champagne………. read on for ideas!

Cava is slowly regaining its popularity as the Prosecco bubble is bursting. This is due to its quality and value for money and the fact that producers are not succumbing to price wars to make the cheapest fizz (there are still some in this category, but they do lack inherent flavour). The native grapes of Catalonia and especially the Penedes, that are permitted for the production of Cava are Macabeo, Parellada and X.arello for white wine and Trepat, Garnacha, Monastrell and Pinot Noir for Rose cavas. Rose cava has a lovely aroma and elegant vibrant strawberry fruit flavour – great on its own as an aperitif or with food.

Another rose fizz to tempt your taste buds is the Brachetto d’Aqui Castello Banfi Rose Regale. A traditional yet not well-known Italian rose it is a soft, deep pink almost red, sparkling wine from Brachetto grapes grown in Piemonte. This wine is intensely aromatic with hints of rose on the nose. On the palate it is soft and elegant with red berry flavours dominating, but with hints of almond and nutmeg.

Looking beyond the classic choices there are many wines called cremant that are made by the methode traditionelle and originally this term indicated a less-bubbly style of sparkling wine. Think gentle fizz, not the nose-tingling experience of some Champagnes etc. It is also used to designate sparkling wines made by the méthode traditionelle outside the boundaries of the Champagne region. Crémants might also be made from grapes other than the traditional Champagne varieties. Crémant d’Alsace, for example, can be made from Pinot Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Gris and Cremant de Limoux in the Languedoc Roussillon area of Southern France where Chenin Blanc is added to the mix of Champagne varieties of Chardonnay & Pinot Noir.

Tasmania is also the home of many quality sparkling wines made from same grapes as Champagne ie Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier and also the same wine making techniques ensures quality wines from the Pipers Brook region. Jansz is one of the main producers to look out for. It’s a similar story form Argentina too where producers such as Tapiz are making delicious elegant fizz.

Franciacorta in northwest Italy is a region take note of its sparkling wines of great quality. The Ferghettina winery has a reputation for method traditionelle wines from Champagne grapes in stunning packaging – the beautiful delicate pink wine is presented in a square bottomed bottle patented by the winery to raise the quality and ease production encased in a cellophane wrapping- the perfect gift!

Make 2022 the year to try new flavours and find exciting delicious new wines from around the world – there are many that are worth a taste. Wine drinking should be fun…….

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