See in the new decade with party fizz to fit your budget | Alistair Gibson
It seems to me that new year’s eve is one of those diary events where the expectation is almost better than the reality.
Perhaps it is because it comes so close to Christmas that our appetite to celebrate is not quite what it was.
Certainly as I grow older the desire to stay in with dinner, a nice bottle of wine and something on the TV, grows stronger.
Maybe that is just me being a bit bah humbug and maybe new year’s eve 2019 is the start of this century’s roaring twenties?
Here is some fizz to ring in the new year, whatever you are doing. The evening will undoubtedly involve some sparkling wine, whether as a toast as the clock strikes the midnight hour or perhaps it will be poured all evening.
Exquisite Collection 2016 Vintage Cava (Aldi £6.49) is a great choice for an all-night party wine and as the base for cocktails. It could even make a reappearance at brunch on New Year’s Day in the form of Buck’s Fizz.
There is plenty of zesty fruit, a little richness and a constant stream of bubbles – it’s really terrific value.
Staying with cava but stepping up a little in quality is Vilarnau Brut Reserva NV (Tesco £12.00, Ocado £8.49 on offer from £12 until January 2, Hennings Wine £12.50). I can’t help but like the Barcelona-themed limited edition packaging it comes in, which make it look even more like a party bottle of fizz.
Made from a blend of the classic cava grape, this has apple, pear, citrus and almost a dusting of lemon sherbet on the nose, followed by a crisp, fresh palate with lots of fine bubbles and a nicely-textured finish.
Still in party mode here with Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny Champagne NV Brut (Aldi £12.49) which is really amazing value and, given the price, the quality is certainly very high.
There are apples and pears on the nose with a touch of apple crumble. The palate is very clean with a core of bright, zesty acidity, some complexity and a long, elegant finish.
If it is just a quiet evening in then how about a bottle of Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé NV (Ocado £30 on offer from £40 until January 2, Waitrose £39.99, Tesco £35 on offer from £40 until January 1) which is one of my favourite rosé Champagnes.
Taittinger is one of the last great independent Champagne houses and this is made with the addition of 15 per cent red wine to the final blend which gives it its lovely, vibrant pink colour.
There is a constant stream of tiny bubbles and a persistent mousse, aromas of crushed summer red berries and a little spice on the nose, followed by an elegant palate with crisp red fruits, lively acidity and a very long, satisfying finish.
This would make a lovely aperitif before dinner or I would be more than happy to raise a glass as I see out the old year and look forward to a new decade.