Consecutively poor vintages in Champagne have resulted in smaller crops and ultimately a reduction in production. Amplified by other global factors, this has pushed Champagne prices to an eye-watering new high.
Now has never been a better time to look elsewhere for Champagne-style/method wines that represent better value for money. So have fun, explore why you try something new, and save a few quid!
We’ve put together a list of some of our favourite alternatives to Champagne that have been inspired by the region in some way and how to best enjoy them.
Here are my favourites:
2019, Methode Traditionnelle cider. "Appellation" by Find & Foster
Yes, you heard me correctly. The quintessentially British practice has come a long way in the last 10 years and Find & Foster are really flying the flag for fine gastronomic ciders. This extra brut Champagne method fizz is packed full of complex bruised yellow apple and sweet hay flavours. Secondary fermentation is with Champagne yeasts, then it’s aged for a further 2 years on lees. This is impressive considering the minimum ageing length for Champagne is only 15 months!
Perfect – After an Autumnal walk with some good quality English goats’ cheese.
NV Cava, Gran Casteller Brut
Next, we head to Catalonia, specifically the hills in the background of Barcelona, The Penedès. This is proper Cava country, producing aromatic and refreshing wines made from local grape varieties Macabeu, Xarel-lo and Parellada. Casteller age their wines for a minimum of 24 months before releasing, again, far longer than most champagnes.
Perfect - with post-work simple tapas of olives, anchovies and nuts.
Domaine Léon Boesch Crémant d'Alsace 'Soixante Douze'
Crémant often gets a bad rap, but it shouldn’t! It is made in regions throughout France Like Loire, Jura, Burgundy and Alsace, each of them with their own unique styles. We love this Alsatian wine in particular. A blend of noble grape varieties with mainly Pinot Blanc and Riesling, it gives wonderful aromatics on the nose and palate, making it a dream paired with spicy food.
Perfect – With Saturday night spicy takeaway, ideally with Thai food
2019 Andreas Bender Riesling Sekt
The majority of Sekt produced doesn’t leave Germany & Austria, with over 90% drunk domestically. Andreas made their name for producing some of the best Rieslings from the heart of the Mosel. Andreas is modern, dynamic and forward-thinking, however, when it comes to winemaking he takes a traditional ‘hands off’ approach to making wine, resulting in a very unique style from the Mosel, bursting with character.
Perfect – For a celebration with a loved one