Nothing says ‘celebration’ quite like a glass of fizz. Champagne, prosecco, and the other usual culprits, are all very well – but next time you want some bubbles, try something a little left of centre. Here’s a gorgeous amber coloured fizz, one of England’s finest, sparkling sake and Swiss cider, and a gorgeous local pet nat.
Vej Bianco Antico Metodo Classico (Italy)
I love orange wines, but had no idea there was a sparkling version until I discovered this gorgeous amber drop. Made from 100% Malvasia di Candia Aromatica by a family winery in the hills west of Parma, it has a heady perfumed nose and dry tannic complexity from 2 months on skins and 24 on lees.
Digby Non-vintage (England)
The sparkling wines of south-east England have started turning heads, winning accolades in blind tastings against their better-known continental counterparts. This classic blend of new season pinot noir, aged chardonnay and a splash of pinot meuniere is crisp and dry with good acid and a toasty nose.
La Prova Pet-Nat Aglianico Rosato (Australia)
Pétillant-naturel (pet-nat) wines are made by méthode ancestrale, an ancient (and natural) technique for sparkling wines predating the Champagne Method. They’re found mostly in France, but I love this Aussie version using an Italian varietal to give a soft pink, slightly cloudy, fruity but dry, fizz.
La Cidrerie du Vulcain de Fer (Switzerland)
Cider (apple wine) is popular in England and France, but I’d never tried a Swiss one until this crossed my palate. Made from the fruit of ancient Alpine apple orchards in Fribourg, it’s dry, less feral than French cidre, with floral aromas and a bright, fresh apple flavour.
Mioya Shuzo “Yuho no Shiro” Sparkling Sake (Japan)
I’m still learning to appreciate sake (Japanese rice wine) and didn’t know that it came in sparkling versions until recently. This cloudy number – unfiltered, unpasteurised and undiluted – has a light spritz, dusty nose and intriguing slightly sweet then savoury finish with a touch of salinity.