Forget those overpriced flowers and buy champagne

By Martin Isark
Why is it that when school holidays come around flights & holidays double in price? Why is it when Valentine’s Day nears those romantic roses rocket in price?  Likewise if you are celebrating Mother’s Day or Mothering Sunday you’ll find that the price of flowers have soared again! Not very romantic or Christian in my book!

The silver lining is that in the Food & Drink world the prices come down nearer we get to that special day, Christmas pudding’s half in price, whisky drops in price for Burns night and champagne drops in price for Valentines & Mother’s Day.   Forget those overpriced flowers and buy your women or man of your dreams champagne for Valentine’s Day.

Know your champagne:

Non Vintage (NV) Champagne
This is a blend of wines from several different years, and must be aged for 15 months. Quality producers like Bollinger will bottle age for much longer.

Vintage Champagne
This is a blend of champagnes from just one year, and must be aged for a minimum 3 years. Prestige brands, like Krug, will bottle age for up to eleven years.

Blanc de Blancs
This is white champagne produced from white chardonnay grapes only. It has a more elegant and delicate style than regular vintage and non-vintage champagne, which is a blend of both white and black grapes.

Blanc de Noirs
This is white champagne produced from just black pinot noir and/or pinot meunier grapes. The taste is softer and more rounded than that of regular vintage, non-vintage and Blanc de Blancs champagne.  This style is often preferred by the occasional champagne drinker.

The colour can vary from off-white to almost red. The deeper the colour, the more fruit driven the champagne will be.  Therefore, if you are a fan of champagne’s bottle ageing nuances of brioche, biscuits, dried fruits and yeasty notes then rosé champagne is not for you. On the other hand though, if you are looking for an-easy-drinking champagne that has that ‘please drink me’ appeal then pink is the one to pick from the shelf.

Want more helpful tasting notes on Champagne and sparkling wine? Download the Can I Eat It? app 

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Barcode: 20098933
LIDL NV Comte de Brisman Champagne France
One sip of this tongue curling fizz is too much, leave it on the shelf and let Lidl’s champagne buyers strip the enamel from their teeth. Want a reasonably priced champagne? Try an own brand from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer or Sainsbury’s. Tasted by Martin Isark

Barcode: 3185370485095
Dom Perignon Vintage Champagne
Dom Perignon is a very big step in quality from Moet, DP’s baby brother! If the style, price and size fits – put it in the trolley .Tasted by Martin Isark
Competing Brands: Salon, Krug & Louis Roederer Cristal

Barcode: 5000169192528
Waitrose Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Blanc de Blancs – made from just white grapes. This quality champagne delivers yeasty and biscuity notes from sip to swallow. Tasted by Martin Isark

Barcode: 0184423933319
Chauvet Blanc de Noirs Champagne
Blanc de Noirs is made from just black grapes!   This silky soft small grower champagne will impress the aficionado and the occasional drinker. Tasted by Martin Isark Want it? Give Private Cellar a call: 01353 721 999

Barcode: 00563475
Marks & Spencer De Saint Gall Rosé Champagne
A  pale pink champagne that presents a harmonious blend of red fruits and yeasty notes that are peppered with firm acidity.  A brand beater – put it in the trolley. Tasted by Martin Isark

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