We’re in a credit crunched world so we’re looking at how to enjoy Christmas and its wines on a wine recessionista budget. The first thing that comes into focus is the bubbles budget. Is Champagne really necessary? Lots of bubbles will be sipped, sloshed and swilled over the holidays, some of it with orange or peach juice mixed in it, some of it will mix with a lot of other drinks inside drunken bodies. Quite a bit will be drunk at a civilised speed without having to compete with food flavours. There’s a case for different bubbles for different situations.
We tried a Sainsbury’s Vintage Cava 2006 with a view to it being an all purpose bubble provider. It’s nominally priced at £10, but is currently half price, along with lots of other drinks in the wine aisle this month. I haven’t seen it priced at £10 ever. It’s made by Cordoniu, a big producer in Spain, and a reliable one.
It has good, fine persistent bubbles which transfer neatly into a soft mousse rather than aggressive fizz. It’s dry with a lemony freshness, there’s not a lot of biscuit or brioche, there is some fresh apple. It’s good. It passes muster at parties, it’s not going to win a taste test against Grande Marque Champagnes, but it will win out against plenty of the £10 Champagnes that appear at this time of year, and it’s a good Cava for the money.
I’d buy it again, but I couldn’t this week, it was sold out at my local Sainsbury’s.