5 Great Sparkling Wines for Summer

19th June 2017


Summer is always a great time to enjoy wine and especially if you are lucky enough to be enjoying some pleasant sunshine whilst sat in a relaxing typical English garden or even whilst on a balcony watching the world pass you, that popping of the cork and the pouring of that fruit scented wine into your glass brings that warm satisfying glow to your face. Now when the weather gets hot the sparkling wine corks get popping (sorry, not trying to sound like Billy Ocean there with “when the going gets tough, the tough get going“) and us Brits certainly do enjoy a glass of bubbly when it comes to enjoying what small amount of an English Summer we are treated to each year and what a great choice of sparkling wines we now have to choose from.

Wines’ popularity in the UK today has exploded especially thanks to the growth of sparkling wines sales, not only have we Champagne at knock down prices in our national supermarkets, we can also pop onto the internet and chose from many of sparkling wines from across the globe thanks to the likes of online wine merchants such as Virgin Wines. We’ve a tremendous meltdown of prices I call it with Prosecco and Champagne battling it out for top spot and other great sparkling wines regions such as our own here in England fighting hard to capture their market share and improving on quality year on year. With this hive of activity, the consumer wins with a great choice of wines that can be ordered from the comfort of their sofa at prices that really offer great value for money.

So what sparkling wines do I recommend you take a look at for your typical English summer’s day that sits well for both value for money and overall tasting experience:

Sussex Vineyards Mayfield Expression Rosé

Now, what about a spot of English Fizz and something very special too? This is the case here with the fabulous deep rosé English Sparkling Wine from the winemakers at Fox and Fox in Sussex. I am particularly keen on the range of wines this team are producing, but for me, this example is truly divine offering a refreshing explosion of red summer berry fruits and a long lasting smooth moreish finish.

Champagne R C Lemaire Brut Select Reserve

Champagne comes in all names and styles, it is not all about Moet & Chandon and Veuve Clicquot, we must not forget there are 1,000’s of Champagne producers and some are producing some of the finest examples that really must be explored so that you can truly experience this fine winemaking region of France. Here is a grower Champagne RC Lemaire and their brut select reserve which I have been a fan of for a few years now having visited their winery a few times near to Epernay and having experienced their full selection of wines. This quality Champagne is £38 a bottle and offers a fine Pinot Meunier driven deep fruity and brioche taste that really pleasantly surprises especially when freshly poured and well chilled. It is a live with bubbles and gives great bold aromas that really gets you into the fizzy mood on a hot summers day.

No.1 Family Estate No1 Rose

At just under £20 with a promotion running at present, this highly impressive New Zealand rosé really befits any ice bucket on a fine summers day. Made from 100% Pinot Noir and fills your glass with salmon-pink amazing aromas of raspberry and cherry with highly active tiny bubbles. The taste is complex yet light, it is highly fruity yet dry, it is what the word moreish was designed for.

Villa Sandi Prosecco Il fresco

There is plenty of choice now with Prosecco and without doubt, the attraction for many is in the price where many times you’ll be tempted by a bottle for no more than £5. What is important to remember though is that you do not have to pay a lot more than £5 to get something very good and avoiding you that overly fruit driven and sweet examples that we sometimes find. Villa Sandi is one of Italy’s biggest wine producers and has a fine range of sparkling wines to chose from and one of their entry level Prosecco is this example here which you can pick up from around £8.50 a bottle. It gives plenty of floral and fruits aromas with a refreshingly dry taste with a light fruity and harmonious sensation.

Franciacorta Ca D’Or Blanc de Blancs

What about something different that you have never tried before, still from Italy though this time from one of it’s finer wine regions of Franciacorta. Though we can not call it Champagne, it is made in nearly the exact same way so you are getting all the greatness of a fine wine though with Italian grapes. Having been to this wine region myself I can really vouch for it being an area of outstanding beauty as are the wineries that work from there. Here is a great example from Ca D’Or with their Blanc de Blancs DOCG brut which will give you a wonderful refreshing yellow stone fruit and citrus tasting experience which costs anywhere between £20-£30 a bottle.

Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.