10 Champagnes & Sparkling Wines to put in your Christmas Trolley
8th December 2020
Christmas for many is that time of year to get together with friends and loved ones. It’s the Christmas works party to let your hair down at and get to know that one person you’ve had your eye on. It’s fabulous television shows such as the suspense of what Christmas Eve will bring on Coronation Street. Christmas also brings on great cooking activities in the kitchen and plentiful coffee tables full of chocolates and sweets, plus it lessens our resolve for that extra spending on our favourite alcoholic drinks including a bottle of bubbly or two.
Now, time of writing this article, we have covid-19 grey clouds hanging over us and countless governments globally placing their countries into lockdowns with endless u-turns and restrictions that, for many, cuts in half all the delights we’ve explored above and importantly also those places we’d visit from restaurants to our local bar / pub who have had to close their doors.
I’d like to say that my idea these days of a shopping trolley is both the real one we stick a pound coin in to to release it for that journey we take around the supermarket once a week to that trolley icon at the top right hand of our screen that loads up our purchases online.
We are today blessed with many ways in which to purchase wine from the supermarket stores to (these guys need all our support during these difficult times) the wine merchants on the high street or those restaurants that offer local wine deliveries with their takeaway orders via the likes of Deliveroo.
I have previously worked in the world of supermarkets mostly focusing on the positioning and marketing of promotional items through each store, back in the era that end of each day I had to connect my portable handheld data capture machine to the router at home and dial in to the central office! The psychology of supermarkets is a very in depth subject from deciding the best background music to the positioning of every day products from milk to bread. No longer is it simply Mr Arkwright rubbing his hands together and demanding every visitor purchase his weekly promotions on ‘Open All Hours’. When it comes to Champagne and sparkling wines, the supermarkets know how to position their own brands – “Store brands are usually close to the market leader in quality yet less costly” source realsimple.com
If you search for wine on Google then it is a highly competitive war to both grab your attention and also to fill your shopping basket. Likewise, when you walk into the supermarkets or larger wine merchants who have big purchasing powers, you have highly attractive promotions tempting your Christmas spend budget.
‘Get on with the 10 Champagne and sparkling wines for your Christmas shopping trolley I hear you say!‘. So without further ado, here are 10 great fizz options for your Christmas season delights each with my reasoning for their selection:
Champagne Roger Brun – 3/3 Vintage 2008 – 2020 Trophy Winner ‘Gastronomic’:
An impressive Christmas day dinner deserves an impressive wine – How about the trophy winner in this year’s Glass of Bubbly Awards for the category of ‘Gastronomic’? Voted by our judges as being the best of all for pairing with fine foods, Champagne Roger Brun 3/3 (third of Chardonnay, Meunier and Pinot Noir) is available directly from the winemaker in France – Contact Philippe Brun today to get your orders in before the Christmas rush – Champagne Roger Brun website
Fox & Fox Mayfield – Expression Saignée Rosé 2014 – 2020 Trophy Winner ‘Winter Warmer’:
The English Sparkling wine house of Fox & Fox has been delighting the world of wine with some of the best expressions of aromas and flavours being produced in our home country with countless awards to their name. A wide range of sparkling wines can be explored to include the Trophy Winner for ‘Winter Warmer’ at this year’s Glass of Bubbly Awards (2020). The perfect sparkling wine to enjoy on those cold winter evenings preferably sat in front of the open fire or as we admire the snowflakes powdering down outside – Their Expression Saignée Rosé holds a bunch of spicy red berry fruits to delight you – You can purchase directly from Amathus Wines in the UK of from the winery itself – www.foxandfox.wine
Arunda – Cuvée Marianna Extra Brut – 2020 Gold Medal ‘Winter Warmer’:
Winemaker Michael over in the well admired sparkling wine region of Trentodoc in Italy makes some incredible sparkling wines that I usually tell people they need to experience at least once. The wines are very bold in character and range from oaky and toasty in character to gastronomic and winter warmer in expression – Here we have their popular Cuvée Marianna label that picked up a gold medal in the category of ‘Winter Warmer’ at the 2020 Glass of Bubbly Awards. It’s very deep in flavour and aroma character, one to enjoy over a relaxing half hour break during what for many is a hectic period at Christmas.
Vina Kobal – Lucija – 2020 Gold Medal ‘Winter Warmer’:
I’m finding myself being a leopard changing its spots here as with Vina Kobal I would normally always suggest / recommend their red sparkling wine, though this year whilst exploring their range I simply fell in love with their Lucija label. The wine is so very expressive and full of character, it wraps itself around the theme of winter so very well for me with a relaxing and smooth orchard fruit character that calls out to be enjoyed on a cold winters evening whilst sat in a cosy chair in front of that magical open fire. Available directly from their winery in Slovenia – Find out more here.
Vina Stoka – Prima Teran Brut Nature – 2020 Gold Medal ‘Winter Warmer’:
Winter Warmer category for me always makes me think of a heavy and bold red sparkling wine and usually, this will mean some amazing examples from Slovenia appearing. I discovered red sparkling wine whilst in Slovenia and many wineries will produce a label or two and most times of very similar character. One such very reliable name is ~Vina Stoka and their Prima Teran that is a full dry style dark berry fruits and spices – Perfect for food pairings. Their wines can be discovered via their website here.
Posestvo Čehovin – Penina Rose – 2020 Gold Medal ‘Winter Warmer’:
People do love a glass of rosé fizz so I wanted to choose one that was quite relaxing to enjoy, touch on the sweeter side though still refreshing and delivering fine youthful fruity flavours with aromatic characters. This wine would be perfect for dessert time or as you might wish to explore the chocolates and sweets on the side. The Čehovin rosé comes from Slovenia and is available directly via their website here.
Camel Valley – 2018 Pinot Noir Rose Brut – 2020 Gold Medal ‘Gastronomic’:
For me, Camel Valley Pinot Noir is still the best English Sparkling Rosé Wine for me and I fully can appreciate why it is chosen to be served to the Royal Family. A solid gold medal winning wine every year and so adaptable as a wine from a fine aperitif to, as Glass of Bubbly Awards gave it, fitting in nicely to pair with many foods (Gastronomic). I’d certainly have this wine in the fridge for Christmas day and possibly as the pre drinks just before dinner is to be served and the excitement builds for those waiting to be called to the table. Camel Valley wines are available directly via their website – www.camelvalley.com
Rodica – Red – 2020 Silver Medal ‘Winter Warmer’:
Another red sparkling wine choice and once more from Slovenia. This time it is Rodica and their Sparkling Red Wine vintage 2014. I have chosen this label as not only do you get the great dark berry fruits and spicy character, but also there is a forest floor appearance to give its a real winter warmer style. I do suggest that with red sparkling wines, and especially those from Slovenia, they are served well chilled so to really appreciate their freshness and flavour characters. The Rodica Dry Red Sparkling Wine is currently available from the website Vinumusa.
Champagne Phal B. De Beaufort – Cuvée Harmonie Rosé 2012 – 2020 Silver Medal ‘Gastronomic’:
I wanted a bold rosé Champagne for pairing with foods during Christmas and the Cuvée Harmonie Rosé 2012 from Phal B. De Beaufort gives you both a refreshing fizz, but also great acidity of red fruits along with drier dark cherries to compliment spicy dishes to desserts. Available to purchase online via the official Phal B. De Beaufort website.
Codice Citra – Waitrose Sparkling Pecorino – 2020 Silver Medal ‘Spring Fling’:
I wanted to choose a light and very easy to drink glass of fizz as you welcome guests to your home for Christmas celebrations. Here is the Waitrose spumante offering that originates from central Italy and gives a fresh and light fruity / floral taste and ideal for a non complicated glass of bubbly that guests can enjoy. Available at Waitrose supermarkets.
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.