Sparkling summer

Seaview Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV, Australia
Seaview Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV, Australia
Peter Beech, Jennifer Beech, Philip Talbot and Ian Withall 
enjoy a drop of ale          Picture by Malcolm Wells (171013-5428)

From light ales to stout, there was something for everyone at Portsea Island Beer Festival

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Apparently we’re drinking too much Prosecco and as a result there might be a shortage over the summer.

Last year, for the first time, we spent more on this Italian sparkler than we did on Champagne, buying 28 million bottles – more than Cava and Champagne combined. So here are a few alternatives to see you through the season.

Cordorniu Gran Cremant Vintage Brut, Cava (Co-op £9.99) is made by one of the largest Cava producers from traditional local grapes. It’s elegant with fresh apple and lemon fruit and a nicely-balanced finish.

Graham Beck Brut NV, South Africa (Waitrose £10.49 until June 30) is one of the Cape’s best sparklers. This has real complexity, with a fine mousse and a long finish. Classy.

This week’s top tipple is Seaview Chardonnay Pinot Noir NV, Australia (Majestic £11.99, but £7.99 when you buy two). Great to see this fizz available again, one of the first Aussie wines I cut my teeth on in the 1980s and it’s still as good as I remember. Made from a blend of Champagne grapes, it is soft with citrus fruits and a creamy finish. Perfect as an aperitif and great value. Probably all you need for your summer fizz.

Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call 01243 431002.