25 of the best sparkling wines of 2021 under £ 40, from £ 10 cava to champagne and English sparkling



For the pure happiness of the ritual, nothing in the world of wine beats opening a bottle of sparkling wine. The unwinding of the wire cage, the sound of the cork (which should be a controlled and muffled ‘phssst’, not a bang), the sound of the foamy liquid poured into a large flute, then the sight of the bubbles rising to the top. and flashes in the foam. It is a very special joy.

Of course, drinking your sparkling wine should taste even more delicious. The right balance is essential: there should be a refreshing acidity, but it should be tamed with the right touch of sweetness.

And there must be some delicious fruity flavors even in the cheapest bubbles, while in a bottle-aged champagne or sparkling wine you should expect to find additional complexity and appeal from the yeast interaction, giving rise to notes of bread, biscuit and creaminess.

The 25 bottles here have all of these attributes and more. I chose 10 high value bubbles (note, not all of them are cheap – the point is, they all hit well above their price, which can be quite high in the case of tall sparklers. range); Then, I have five wines that are particularly suited to accompany dishes, and 10 to taste when you fancy a treat.

No excuse for having included just one prosecco and many more crémants: high-end sparkling wines made using the traditional method of bottle-aged champagne, but outside the Champagne region. The quality of the crémants available today is just far superior to that of most proseccos, which are simply made in vats and bottled young.

Spain’s cava (also made by the traditional method) shouldn’t be overlooked for a moment, and the sheer number of English sparklers on this list is testament to the admirable recent success of the country’s winemakers. I’ve covered all the bases, from super dry to super soft, so there’s something here to get everyone having a sparkling summer rest.

Soft or dry?

It is important to know when buying whether a sparkling wine is dry, medium or sweet. Unfortunately, the terms on a label that are meant to tell us this information are not easy to understand. Here are the categories for champagne and cava; other sparklers, including prosecco, follow the same terms. Keep in mind that 4g of sugar is about a teaspoon and that the amounts given are per liter and not per bottle:

  • Raw nature: contains 0g-3g of sugar, therefore exceptionally dry
  • Extra Brut: contains 0g-6g, also very dry
  • Raw : it is by far the largest category of champagne or sparkling wine, but wines labeled “Brut” can contain 0g to 12g. With a maximum of 12g, wines can taste slightly off-dry, so if you want to make sure you’re buying a very dry style, perhaps choose a Brut Nature or an Extra Brut instead. Many bruts, however, hit the ‘Goldilocks’ button as an aperitif and to accompany light savory dishes – they are perfect.
  • Extra Dry / Extra Dry / Extra Seco: a category that is very confusing because it is a wine a little sweeter than the Brut, containing between 12g and 17g of sugar per liter, therefore semi-dry
  • Sec / Sec / Seco: nnot really very dry, in fact, between 17g and 32g. Semi-sweet
  • Demi-sec / sec: decidedly on the semi-sweet side, at 32g-50g
  • Sweet / dulce: very sweet at 50g + and best enjoyed with desserts

Spotlight on English wine

It is now widely recognized that English sparkling wine made using the traditional champagne method can rank among the best in the world. It consistently wins top prizes in international competitions, and wine lovers here have taken it to heart, many discovering their local vineyards during closings or while visiting UK holidays.

Almost all of the best examples are made from one or more classic Champagne grape varieties – chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier – grown in English vineyards and aged long after the second fermentation in the bottle.

These fine sparkling wines made a strong impression during the last tastings; our cooler climate allows for tangy acidity, delicate notes of flowers, tree fruit and citrus, and richer depths of cookie, bread, cream and yogurt.

The blanc de blancs style – made entirely of white grapes, usually chardonnay – is particularly exciting and, to me, represents the best of English sparklers.

In addition to the specific wines recommended below, discover Kent’s sparklers Gusbourne Estate, Jenkyn Square in Hampshire, Camel valley in Cornwall, Furleigh Estate and Bride valley in Dorset, Sharpham in Devon, and Ashling Park, Hoffmann & Rathbone, Nyebois, Rathfinny and Wiston, all in Sussex.

10 good business bubbles


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