The Greatest Sparkling Red Wine in the World. Well that’s pretty definitive. This Lambrusco is a masterclass, adding rosehip complexity to the strawberry fruit, made with great length and finesse. It has a vibrant flavour that matches the tortellini of the middle of Italy, as well as seafood and hams and salamis. You don’t often find the ‘greatest in the world’ at this sort of price. It’s a crime not to try it.
This wine will change your life. Nobody tries Brachetto (pronounced ‘brah-ket-toh’) without falling for its frothy, flibbertigibbet charms. It’s low in alcohol, light in fizz and gigglingly unpretentious. Yet it’s seriously well-made wine, from a classic grape and another world from the syrupy pink wines from big-brand producers.
We were lucky to try this, the first release of a proper, Traditional Method fizz in China. It’s made by Judy Chan and named after her daughter and it’s lovely; a fresh apple aroma balanced by toasty, yeasty aromas and with complex spice notes on the finish. On the basis of this expect great fizz to come from China.
For years this has been quietly recommended for those with a Champagne taste but a beer budget. Drink in the exquisite colour, elegant crushed berry fruit and then the lingering perfume in the mouth that comes with traditional bottle ageing. Drink on the veranda, over dinner or just sitting in the bath.
Boschendal is a piece of South African history, a working farm since 1685. Today it’s known for making one of the best sparkling wines in the world, this pale-pink fizz with raspberry and red apple fruit. There’s a mouth-filling creamy mousse and biscuit complexity. It’s a gorgeous summer treat.
Got a celebration coming up? Exam success, an engagement…? Perhaps becoming President of a newly-emancipated South Africa? Or Presidential candidate in the USA? Graham Beck has made wines to toast them all. Glorious drinking with lemon-lime zippy fruit and nutty, complex, lingering finish.
Some rosés cry out to be served with food and this is one. It has the fruit and structure to work with light meats like veal or vegetarian dishes. Think of it like light, frothy Pinot Noir (which is fundamentally what it is). And if you’re in Mornington, pop in and bottle some of your own sparkling rosé like Amelia did.
Life is better with bubbles. And bubbles like this are a bargain. Saumur has always been one of those wine trade secrets. With ripe apple and pear fruit, it’s juicy and fun rather than precise and serious. Mid-week celebrations, weekend drinks or even just something fun to go with a curry.
If you imagine a sparkling pink Beaujolais you’d not be far wrong with this wine’s mix of apple freshness and sweet scents of cherry. Like lots of pink fizz, it’s great with pink foods like prawns or salmon, even through to the strawberries for pud. But I love this with pan-seared tuna.
It’s possibly the unbridled fruitiness of lovely Saumur that makes this such a welcoming sparkler, with heritage apple crunchiness matched by the softer, rounded notes of pear. Don’t save this for a special occasion, it’s a great-value wine with salads, crab or even lighter pork dishes.
Great bubbles don’t come better value than this. But also with a soft pear fruit and frothy fizz, many people actually prefer this to more expensive sparkling wine. Match it with salads and a touch of spice for a magical mix. Think more robust fish dishes and spiced chicken.
Never knowlingly under-embellished, this was the most outré bottle featured on The Wine Show. Glitzy, hand-crafted crystal and 24 carat gold for Moldova’s leading Champagne-method sparkler; a blend of equal parts Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and bling. Lovely fresh citrus fruit and a floral complexity.