The ponies are playing, darlinks! Which means only one thing – a resurgence of our favourite sound. And we’re not talking the thunder of hooves! It’s the pop of corks, of course.
Sipping on sparkling wine is as much an important part of the Spring Racing scene as the Melbourne Cup itself. But not all of us can afford to sip from the fountain of Krug.
So here’s five amazing value bubbly wines under $30 that will add serious sparkle to your day, without sizzling your credit card (leaving more for new season shoes, non?)
1. ArtWine Coco NV
We do have a heart for ArtWine at the moment, particularly as we’re doing not one but two Fabulous Ladies Wine Soirees with them this month! But while we’ve loved their wines for a while now the recent addition of a bubbly to their range was enthusiastically welcomed!
This delicious and fine beaded sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills. There’s loads of fresh strawberry and stone fruit on the palate, as well as some yeasty depth and complexity that makes it far from simple, and it all ends in a creamy mouth feel that I adore.
2. Rymill Coonawarra Brut 2012 $25.00
Coonawarra has not traditionally been a name that’s rolled off my tongue when I’m asked about my favourite Australian sparkling regions. But that might be set to change after recently trying this very enjoyable bubbly from Rymill that was right up my alley.
It’s 90% Chardonnay, 5% Pinot Noir and 5% Pinot Meunier – a very traditional blend made in the traditional method – and the Pinot gives it a very subtle but distinctive blushing colour. But it was the lovely complexity in the palate that I really adored, something rarely found in a bubbly in this price range.
It’s like walking past a french bakery with a basket of ripe berries under your arm. You can smell all that delicious, freshly baked bread but it’s the fresh burst of berry and citrus and a cascade of fine bubbles that’ll have you ready to pour that next glass before you know it.
Perfect for smoked salmon or crab and aioli finger sandwiches
3. Blue Pyrenees Midnight Cuvee 2010
Having just scored one of the biggest wine bling awards possible – winning World Champion Australian Sparkling Wine at the 2014 Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships – this 100% sparkling Chardonnay is literally harvested at midnight.
That’s not so it can be serenaded by werewolves or woken abruptly from it’s beauty sleep, but rather so the fruit is still cool and in it’s optimum state prior to being crushed, thereby producing the highest quality wine.
And what a lovely little wine it is too. Fresh grapefruit and lemon meringue dominate the palate, with a fresh, dry and crisp finish, making it a perfect accompaniment to a sunny morning garden brunch or some dainty offerings at elevenses.
4. De Bortoli Rococo Premium Cuvee NV
We were lucky enough to be some of the first in Australia to try this at our recent Melbourne Fabulous Ladies Wine Soiree where we shared a glass with Leanne De Bortoli from De Bortoli’s Yarra Valley estate where this bubbly is produced.
“It’s just a really nice way to start, or finish, an evening,” said Leanne, and the general consensus in the room that night was one of total agreement!
The label is reminiscent of the Rococo artworks of 18th Century Europe and is a delicate blend of Chardonnay [86%], Pinot Noir [11%], and Pinot Meunier [3%]. Not only does it look sensational in an ice bucket, but this fresh and crisp bubbly is just at home with freshly shucked oysters as it is with a refined dessert.
5. Veuve Monsigny NV
You’d think the $30 cut off for this list would eliminate real Champagne, wouldn’t you? But no! That bastion of all things bargain – Aldi – import this wickedly good Champagne and you can buy it all year ’round for twenty five buckeroos.
How is the price this good? Who knows. It may be better not to ask…But what we do know is that this little Champagne has had some big international success, beating many other far more expensive and well known rivals in a blind tasting.
Our fabulous Champagne Lady, Amanda Reboul, thought it was pretty amazing too. You can read her review of Veuve Monsigny here.
It’s one of my favourite Champagne bargains of all time, and I often joke that it tastes like Bollinger’s little brother. So get your inner Eddie & Patsy on and go pop some.