Christmas 2015: 10 best champagne alternatives
Not a fan of the traditional bubbly? Here are the sparkling substitutes
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Looking for a drop of frothy fizz to accompany your Christmas feasting? Before dashing down the wine aisle and popping your cork on a bottle of champers, hold fire and give thought to some of these sparkling alternatives.
Not only will our suggestions save you a few quid, these drinks will tickle your tonsils awake and provide the perfect conversation piece for when the post-pudding lethargy starts to bite.
1. M&S, Elderflower & Cucumber Gin Fizz, 5.5%: £5 for 75cl
Freshen up the festivities with this gin cocktail containing cool cucumber and fragrant elderflower flavours. Light and bright, it’ll put a smile on your face long before the cracker jokes do the rounds.
2. Once Upon a Tree, Chapel Pleck Sparkling Perry, 8%: £12.25 for 75cl
Once Upon a Tree’s Herefordshire orchards are bang in the heart of perry-making country and this handmade treat is worthy of any celebration. Its natural champagne method, sparkle and long maturation period give a light and fruity sophistication that rises to the occasion from starter to dessert.
3. Philippe Michel Cremant Du Jura, 12%: £7.29 for 75cl, Aldi
For fizzy French booze on a budget, this multi-award-winning chardonnay will keep your guests, and wallet, happy. It’s crisp and instantly refreshing, with a hint of citrus on the palate to help it cut through even the heaviest Christmas feasts.
4. Crémant de Limoux Brut Cuvée Sélection, 12.5%: £12.50, Yapp Brothers
Made in the same way as champagne, and with a blend of champagne grapes (chardonnay and pinot noir), this comes as close to a swanky champagne as you can get without the hefty price tag. It’s fun, frothy and deliciously crisp.
5. Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake, 7%: £10.50 for 30cl, Fareham Wine Cellar
For adventurous, tradition defying diners, here’s a drink to get your guests talking: bottle-fermented sake. With a light, floral aroma, delicate fruit flavours, and a satisfying tang to finish, it’s sure to be the toast of the table.
6. Belvoir Fruit Farms Organic Elderflower Pressé, 0%: £1.72 for 75cl, Ocado
Here’s a non-alcoholic fizz that evokes the heady smell of summer hedgerows to help soothe away any lingering winter blues. It’s a finely balanced, heavenly-scented blend of acidity and sweetness with enough sparkle to make any occasion special.
7. Pilton Cider, 5.5%: £8 for 75cl
Worship at the apple chapel with this beauty; a gloriously golden cider produced by ‘keeving’ – the delicate art of making naturally sweet, sparkling cider by a carefully cultivated fermentation process. This is one of Somerset’s finest, made with apples scrumped from Glastonbury’s ancient orchards.
8. Deus Brut des Flandres, 11.5%: £17.95 for 75cl, Beer Merchants
Fancy a posh pint? Try this – a complex, medium-bodied Belgian booze that has undergone a similar fermentation process to champagne, resulting in an explosion of spicy hoppiness that will dance on your tongue.
9. Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut 2010, 12.5%: £24.99 for 75cl, Waitrose
Pressed and fermented at the multi-award-winning Camel Valley vineyards, this Cornish cracker thumbs its nose at most top-end champagnes. Bright, fruity and dry as a biscuit, it’s a world-class glass of bubbly booze.
10. Allini Prosecco Spumante NV: £5.25, Lidl
Delicate on the tongue and light on the pocket, this Lidl beauty outshines many of the posher proseccos available. Sip it with fishy dishes or enjoy on its own.
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