Looking for some sparkling wine for the holidays? No matter what is going on in life, it’s always a good time to pop some bubbly. sparkling wine is simply the most versatile food pairing wine out there. Period. You can pair sparkling with everything from braai (true story!) to appetizers, and even difficult-to-pair foods like eggs, sushi, and other Asian cuisines. There’s really nothing that welcomes anyone to a party better than a flute full of bubbly.
And since ‘tis the time of year for the bulk of sparkling wine sales in the country, we decided to do a quick roundup of a few standout bottles that will be released over the coming weeks (and a few solid go-tos) that fit into every price-point. While Champagne (remember, real Champagne is only from the Champagne region of France) may be out of many people’s budgets, nobody should be left out of bubbly love, especially this time of year.
Bollinger Champagne – absolutely fabulous for the feastive season
One of the world’s most revered Champagne Houses, Bollinger has consistently created outstanding Champagne with character, distinguished by elegance and complexity since 1829.
Bollinger Special Cuvée NV
There is a lot that’s ‘Special’ about Bollinger’s Special Cuvée, an icon among non-vintage Champagnes. The signature bottling of the House of Bollinger, it is a blend of 60% Pinot Noir, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier from Grand or Premier Cru vineyards of exceptional quality. The Special Cuvée also includes the addition of reserve wine which is still wine from previous vintages that is aged in magnums in the Bollinger cellar. This addition enriches the cuvee, adding flavour and weight to this sophisticated blend.
The Bollinger Special Cuvee displays an intense golden colour, very fine bubbles and a beautiful aromatic complexity: roasted apples and ripe peaches with gentle citrus nuances. Full and expansive on the palate, this is an intense, very elegant and refined creamy cuvée with pear and brioche flavours and notes of fresh walnuts with a long refreshing finish. This really is an absolutely fabulous Champagne that can be served for any special occasion as well as for afternoon tea, at a picnic, as a pre-dinner drink or as an ideal accompaniment to sushi, prawns and crayfish, good cured ham or sliced, seared beef fillet.
Bollinger Special Cuvée, packaged in an elegant gift box, is available nationally for approximately R960.
Bollinger Rosé NV
Fresh as a Rose, Balanced as a Bollinger, a True Alchemy! The Bollinger Rosé is a blend of 62% Pinot Noir, 24% Chardonnay and 14% Pinot Meunier from 85% Grand or Premier Cru vineyards of exceptional quality. This is a highly polished Champagne, an aromatic, perfectly balanced Rosé of great complexity and sophistication.
The Bollinger Rosé entices with a beautiful salmon pink colour, a velvet mousse and fresh, pure redcurrant, cherry and strawberry aromas, The palate is rich and refined, perfectly combining power with freshness, with a silky texture and juicy wild berry flavours, a touch of creaminess and a lasting fresh berry finish.
With its intimate and unusual flavours, the absolutely fabulous Bollinger Rosé can be served for afternoon tea, Bollinger-style. It is also perfect for a picnic on a summer afternoon, as a pre-dinner drink or served with crayfish, salmon, Japanese cuisine or not-so-spicy Asian cuisine and fruit-based desserts.
Bollinger Rosé, packaged in a gorgeous gift box, is available nationally for approximately R1230.
Bollinger Rosé Vintage 2006
Bollinger Rosé 2006 is the very first limited-edition vintage that Champagne Bollinger exclusively dedicated to a rosé, inspired by the excellent 2006 vintage. A blend of Pinot Noir (72%), Chardonnay (28%); nine of the very best Grands and Premiers Crus were selected to blend a unique cuvée. More than 10 years ageing was necessary for this wine to express the true character of the 2006 vintage.
Labelled with metallic rose-gold Bollinger lettering, an exceptional cuvée deserves exceptional presentation.
An enchanting salmon pink colour with a gracious mousse, the Bollinger Cuvée Rosé 2006 is delicately perfumed with enticing notes of rose petals, raspberries and quince. This unique champagne unveils elegance, precision and harmony. It has a gorgeous roundness on a lively palate, a silky texture and delicious wild berry flavours. It finishes fresh with lingering notes of tangerine.
Bollinger Rosé 2006 is available at select wine specialist stores for approximately R1300.
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagnes for the Festive Season
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne, the number one selling Champagne in France and the third biggest-selling Champagne brand in the world, have a fine selection of limited edition exquisitely showcased Champagnes for the festive season.
Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut – in brand new packaging
This Champagne is a blend of 20% Chardonnay for elegance and finesse, 40% Pinot Noir for roundness and structure and 40% Pinot Meunier for fruitiness and soft supple character.
The Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut is a fresh yet full-bodied Champagne. It is matured on the lees for three years which adds creamy depth and silky texture to the vibrant mid-palate.
Aromas of juicy pear and apricot merge and weave in a beguiling fusion around a mass of delicate bubbles, gradually unleashing their true character over time. Approachable and refreshing, this Champagne offers the complexity to be enjoyed with appetisers or a celebratory meal.
The Nicolas Feuillatte Réserve Exclusive Brut is available in select fine wine retailers at approximately R580 (750ml bottle).
Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes D’Or Brut Vintage 2006 – A Distinctively Packaged Work of Art
The Champagne House flagship, the Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Brut Vintage, a Champagne for those seeking the finer things in life, is one of the most recognised bottles of wine in the world with its distinctive dimples reminiscent of black pearls. Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Brut Vintage encompasses the elegance and finesse of Chardonnay combined with the full body of Pinot Noir. Always a vintage, only made in exceptional years, the Palmes d’Or Champagne Brut is aged for a minimum of 10 years in the cellar.
The Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Brut Vintage 2006 is a powerful and distinguished Champagne from an excellent vintage. Exquisite body on the palate reveals maturity while a seam of freshness supports the wine’s aromatic qualities. Lovely graceful gossamer bubbles swirl in the glass forming a perfectly balanced string of pearls. A seductive wave of honey, dried and tropical fruit aromas introduce the bouquet, with roasted notes adding a pleasing touch. Mature, intense, creamy and generous, this Champagne reveals intricate citrus flavours and honey with lifted notes of almond paste and marzipan. Long and lingering, showing beautiful balance, it has attractive freshness on the finish.
The Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or 2006 is available at fine wine retailers at approximately R2100 (750ml bottle).
Nicolas Feuillatte Graphic Ice Blanc and Rosé – Splendidly Showcased Demi-Sec Champagnes
Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne have recently released two splendidly showcased demi-sec Champagnes for the festive season – Graphic Ice Blanc and Graphic Ice Rosé: generous and fruity with a satisfying touch of sweetness perfectly balanced with refreshing acidity. The eye-catching metallic packaging was specially designed to sparkle around the clock: to reflect the rays of the sun and to glimmer in the dark of the night.
Nicolas Feuillatte Graphic Ice Blanc
Appearance: Beautiful pale gold colour with a persistent ribbon of delicate bubbles.
Nose: Fresh, floral and peachy on the nose with a touch of roasted nuts and notes of honey
Palate: Round and creamy with hints of yellow stone fruits and citrus, with a lively mousse imparting freshness to a lingering finish.
Nicolas Feuillatte Graphic Ice Blanc Rosé
Appearance: Delicate coral pink colour with a fine persistent mousse.
Nose: Tempting aromas of black cherry and summer berries.
Palate: Round and creamy with flavours of cherry, raspberry and strawberry, a velvety mousse and a smooth pleasing finish.
Nicolas Feuillatte Graphic Ice Blanc and Rosé will be available at fine wine retailers at approximately R615 and R760 respectively (750ml bottle).
Prosecco Italian Sparkling Wine for the Festive Season
Mmmm, Prosecco, the fresh, fruity, aromatic Italian fizz, could not be trendier, earning fame in nearly every country in the world. Much of its success is owed to its excellent value, versatility and informality. Prosecco is about family, life, love and celebrations – it’s a drink for “Life Lovers.”
For a wine to be labelled Prosecco the grapes must come from the region of Prosecco in northwest Italy. The Italian Charmat method used to produce Prosecco involves a second fermentation in steel tanks while Champagne and Cap Classique involve a second fermentation in the bottle. Easy to drink and easy on the pocket, Prosecco is made to be drunk fresh, unlike Champagne which usually improves with bottle maturation.
Prosecco is a great drink for casual sipping at any hour of the day, is perfect for parties and delicious mixed into cocktails like the world-famous Bellini served at Harry’s Bar in Venice. This does not diminish Prosecco as a wine, it just adds to its versatility. As a food wine it goes well with a wide range of dishes from fried calamari to a creamy pasta dish and can also be paired with desserts like fresh fruits or a lemon tart.
One of the more diet-friendly alcoholic drinks, a glass of Prosecco is only 80 calories, while a glass of wine contains about 220 calories.
Valdo Rosé Brut Floral Edition Brut – An Exquisitely Packaged Delicious Dry Rosé
When spring is in the air, Valdo Floral Rosé blossoms. The exquisite floral design on the bottle is created by Fabrizio Sclavi, the eminent Italian fashion editor with a special passion for illustration, who has collaborated with icons like Ferrari, Giorgio Armani, Andy Warhol and photographer, Oliviero Toscani among others.
This is a standout bottle of Prosecco that’s fresh and lingering, as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, a softly sparkling, strawberries and cream delight.
The enticing colour of pink rose petals with a tinge of watermelon, and aromas of raspberry and spring flowers lead to an enveloping fruitiness on the palate – a whirlwind of cherry and strawberry flavours – with a lovely tingle from the fine, lively mousse and a soft floral finish. An ideal aperitif and also delicious with melon and Parma ham and seafood.
Valdo Prosecco Rosé Brut Floral Edition Brut retails for around R280 per bottle
Valdo Prosecco Doc Extra Dry – A Light and Refreshing, Approachable and Fruity Sparkling Wine that Caters to Everyone’s Tastes
A welcoming fruity bouquet of ripe apples, pears, nuts, bread, biscuits and acacia flowers carries through to the palate which is decidedly fruity with a bright, refreshing and zesty finish.
A perfect aperitif, the Valdo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry is also an ideal partner to the most sophisticated cuisine, enhancing the flavours in heavier dishes like mussels in a creamy sauce as well as seafoods with more subtle flavours, like sushi.
Valdo Prosecco DOC Extra Dry NV retails for around R195 per bottle
Val D’Oca Kosher Prosecco Extra Dry 2016 – Beautifully Packaged in a Striking Blue Bottle and Certified Kosher
A terrific vintage Prosecco in a gorgeous striking blue bottle. The production process follows strict Jewish procedures under the supervision of the Rabbi who certifies the final wine Kosher.
The Val D’Oca Kosher Prosecco Extra Dry has a fragrant floral bouquet, a magnificent soft mousse and crisp fresh apple, pear and lemon flavours with some biscuit notes and a refreshing lemony finish.
It is perfect as an aperitif and delicious with sushi, shellfish and carpaccio.
Val D’Oca Kosher Prosecco Extra Dry 2016 retails for around R230 per bottle
Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco Brut NV – Low Calorie and Low Sugar and Certified Organic and Vegan
The Skinny Prosecco boasts just 67 calories per glass, and while this is a good 13 calories lower than average, the real gain is in the sugar content with only seven grams of sugar per litre, which is around half of regular Proseccos which contain between 12 and 15 grams per litre.
Fresh and light, the nose opens with fresh green fruit, acacia flowers and a hint of citrus. The palate is fresh and lively with apple and pear, zesty lemon and somewhat floral notes, finishing full and clean with lasting fruit. It’s a party in a bottle! Naturally delicious pre-dinner, with seafood, with nibbles and with friends.
Thomson & Scott Skinny Prosecco Brut NV retails for around R270 per bottle