Popping corks, frothing mousse and clinking glasses are firmly embedded in the Valentine’s Day rituals. But are you getting value for money as well? It may not sound terribly romantic but no one likes overpaying and it can certainly take the froth off an evening if the fizz falls flat in the quality stakes. We therefore searched out some sparkling wines for all budgets that deliver something extra with the bubbles – great value!
Let’s start with two excellent Proseccos, the second of which comes in Magnum for that additional wow factor!
Bella Cucina Prosecco NV
From: Tesco Price: £6.25 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £7.00 Tasting note:Reasonable, clean wine with sweet green apples and ripe pears.
For those on a budget but looking for a drier, more complex wine, Cremant du Jura can be a superb value choice. It is made using the “Methode Traditionelle”, like Champagne, and coming from the mountains on the French/Swiss border, has a lovely freshness. This is an excellent and particularly well-priced example.
Exquisite Cremant du Jura 2016 From: ALDI Price: £8.29 The Wotwine panel thinks this is worth: £14.00 Tasting note:Fresh, creamy wine with ripe apples, lemon, white meadow flower and dried herb character. Very youthful, it would benefit from some further aging.
Valentine’s Day is about treating our loved ones and nothing else quite says luxury in the same way as Champagne. What is more, you can indulge yourselves without having to splash out extravagantly with help from Wotwine. Here are two authentic, well-made Champagnes that are on offer this month and provide excellent value. One is a Grande Marque from Piper Heidsieck at a distinctly own label price, which looks like a bit of a bargain!
From: Tesco Price: £19.00 (This was on sale at £17 but seems to have gone up as of 11/02/2019!!) Still good value however!
Wotwine thinks this is worth: £26.00 Tasting note: Well made, citrusy wine with lime cordial, grapefruit juice. Good depth and a fine mousse.
Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV
From: Tesco Price: £22.00 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £32.00 Tasting note:Nicely made, complex wine with good depth and fruit character, warm spice notes and a long finish.
For a little extra intensity, Waitrose still has its excellent 2007 vintage champagne that Wotwine recommended at Christmas. Those extra years in bottle provide additional complexity and weight, producing a more richly-textured wine.
Waitrose Vintage Champagne 2007
From: Waitrose Price: £25.99 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £38.00 Tasting note:Bright and mature wine with salted biscuits, lemon peel, chalky minerality and good weight.
Finally, it wouldn’t really be Valentine’s Day without Rosé Champagne. Its association with the demi-monde of 19th Century Paris, a world of wild parties, mistresses and courtesans, of La Traviata, speaks more to hedonism than pure romantic love but sometimes we all deserve a little indulgence! You don’t need the budget of a French aristocrat either with these two fairly-valued examples, particularly as one of them is a sparkling wine from Kent!
Lanson Brute Rosé NV
From: Ocado Price: £27.00 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £27.00 Tasting note: Well made, classy wine with refreshing red apple and strawberry character, good weight and length.
Chapel Down Rosé Brut NV
From: Waitrose Price: £24.99 Wotwine thinks this is worth: £23.00 Tasting note: Competent, well made wine with good intensity. Cherry, strawberry and red currant character and a good mousse.
Have a fantastic Valentine’s Day and please drink responsibly!