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7 of the best bubbles for summer socials and celebrations

These sparkling wines stand out from the crowd, says Sam Wylie-Harris.

Fizz, bang pop! When it comes to happiness in a glass, you can’t go wrong with bubbles.

A steady stream of tiny beads cascading into crystalware seems to always fit the bill – and brighten up any party.

From mood-enhancing budget-friendly bubbly to artisan champagne – and a few corkers along the way – here’s what to have on standby this summer…

1. Crémant de Loire Rosé Brut, Loire, France, £9.99, Lidl, in-store

With an impressive 90 points (outstanding) from Lidl’s master of wine, this crémant is a great alternative to champagne – and what a beauty from the romantic Loire Valley. A beguiling ballet slipper pink, attractive strawberry aromas combine with delicate red fruits, followed by a fine mousse with delicious depth and touches of creamy cherry fruit. Love at first sip.

2. Gentle Riot Sparkling Rosé 2021, Bordeaux, France, £14.99, Laithwaites

A shimmering, salmon pink sparkle from the red wine capital of the world – and crowned with a cap. Made from merlot, there’s definitely grapey fruit notes on the nose with hints of herbs, while the core of fresh strawberry and redcurrant fruit coasts effortlessly along, with a touches of lemon sherbet on the finish. Lots of fun and enticingly different.

3. Bird in Hand Sparkling Rosé Wine, Australia, £16, Tesco

The third rosé on our list, and just as playful, baby pink is the colour to sink this summer. Full of strawberry-scented, cherry charm with blossomy, citrusy aromas, it’s soft and rounded with beautifully balanced acidity and sunny deliciousness. Easy drinking, think a dreamy outdoor sun-trap with climbing roses, deckchair and smoked salmon sarnie.

4. Asquith Gardens Traditional English Sparkling Wine, £16.50, Asda

A delicious introduction to British bubbly, here we have a pretty pale fizz with a flourish of honeysuckle, ripe apples and zesty lime on the nose, similar flavours unfold with a lively character, biscuity note and delightfully crisp finish. One for classic cucumber sandwiches.

5. Graham Beck Blanc de Blancs 2017, South Africa, £19.99, Majestic

South Africa excels when it comes to fizz – and you know you’re on to a winner when you pull back the foil wrapping – aka the ‘coiffe’ – and the message reads: ‘Celebrate what matters’.

From the inviting, biscuity nose laced with zesty limes and juicy pears which carries through on the palate, to the yeasty complexity complimenting the green apple flavours, hint of spice and refreshing, long finish, this chardonnay more than delivers. A party pleaser for sure.

6. Bottega Gold Prosecco, Italy, with Gift Box, £24, Moonpig

There are countless proseccos out there, but if you want to gift someone (or yourself) a showy Italian for a taste of la dolce vita, Bottega Gold’s right on point. With classic notes of honeysuckle, pear and white peach, accented with delicate florals, this striking looking sparkle will bring more than a level of luxury to any soirée – a prosecco that sings from the glass.

7. Champagne William Saintot Blanc De Noirs Premier Cru, France, £38, Sip Champagnes

An exciting new release from Sip, the drinks business specialist online retailer of the year 2022, this artisan champagne has landed on our shores for the first time. A shimmering rose gold, it’s intensely aromatic and offers glorious red fruit aromas (it’s made from pinot noir) with a thread of cassis, wonderful fruit presence and real drive mid-palate, with a persistent, long finish. A very competitive price for a grower champagne (made and bottled by the same people who tend the grapes) and something so niche.


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