12:02pm Saturday 9th February 2013
By Mike Tipping
In Tipping’s Tipples this week, MIKE TIPPING picks three bottles of bubbly perfect for sharing with a loved one on St Valentine’s Day.
Love is not available in bottles but fortunately wine is. I’ve picked four examples this week that I reckon have all the ingredients needed for a Valentine’s wine.
I had to stop and think about what qualities a wine might need to qualify as a contender for February 14th celebrations. I suppose anything goes, drink whatever you both like but a wine with bubbles is an obvious contender.
It doesn’t have to be rosé but it can be, especially when it’s fizzy. I was impressed by an English pink sparkler, Chapel Down Rosé Vintage Reserve Brut.
Made from pinot noir, it touts wild strawberry and lemon sherbet with some biscuity notes and minerals too. Crisp and clean, with persistent bubbles, it will work with or without food.
My better but snootier other half is not often impressed by non-Champagne sparklers but she loved La Jara Prosecco, as did I. It’s a frizzante and gentler than a fully sparkling ‘spumante’ would be.
The quality of the organically grown grapes shines through in this wine and it is a delight to drink.
Expect floral aromas with pronounced flavours of apple and pear and a hint of peach. But it has a normal cork, rather than a Champagne one, so don’t forget your corkscrew.
Or if it has to be Champagne, then try Taittinger Prélude Grands Cru. It isn’t cheap, as non-vintage Champagnes go, but it is very good and a gold medal winner at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
Made with chardonnay and pinot noir, it is rich, long and bready, with citrus, hazelnut and a fine stream of bubbles.
Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut is impressive too. It is quite delicate but certainly not lacking in flavour. Bright and toasty, with hints of citrus and green apple, it is a blend of mainly pinot noir and pinot meunier with 20 per cent chardonnay.
Chapel Down Rosé Vintage Reserve Brut, £24.99 from chapeldown.com, Majestic and Waitrose 17/20
La Jara Prosecco Frizzante, £10.95 from Swig.co.uk 19/20 Champagne Taittinger Prélude Grands Cru, £43 at Majestic 18/20
Champagne Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut nv, rrp £38.49 at Majestic, Waitrose and Ocado 17/20
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