Has the Prosecco bubble burst?

There are plenty of alternatives to Prosecco when it comes to sparkling wines.

There are plenty of alternatives to Prosecco when it comes to sparkling wines. - Credit: Archant

Sales of Prosecco have been slowing down over the past 12 months as sparkling wine lovers look for the next delicious great value sparkling wine. The question is what will it be? There have always been other sparkling wines including Champagne, but none has grabbed the headlines as much and as easily as Prosecco whose economies of scale of production mean lower prices too.

However, the range and quality of other sparkling wines should be explored and if you’re looking for alternatives to enjoy during lockdown in the sunshine and barbecues at home there are plenty to try.

Cava was usurped in the market by Prosecco and there are many available at comparable prices. It is made using the ‘method traditionelle’ as in Champagne and it’s worth paying a little more for a crisp apply taste with hints of lemon sorbet and pear, and a minerality that makes for a refreshing aperitif such as that from Villarnau with its Gaudi style sleeve.

Following the methode tradionelle theme there are delicious wines from Tasmania such as Jansz who make an elegant brut and rose and coined the term ‘Methode Tasmanois’ producing quality sparkling wines that are still less than £20 per bottle. The name Jansz pays homage to Tasmania’s namesake, the Dutch explorer Abel Janszoon Tasman who first sighted the island in 1642. In fact, when it was established in 1975, the Jansz vineyard was originally named after Tasman’s ship, the Heemskerk.

Franciacorta in Italy is home to producers such Ferghettina where wines such as the elegant creamy lingering wine called Milledi from 100 per cent Chardonnay, a brut and a rosé are made using the same grapes as in the Champagne region and same methode of production. Ferghettina have also patented the square based bottle that enables the lees produced in the bubble producing second fermentation in bottle to slide to the neck more easily ready for expelling in the last part of production.

Our own nation’s sparkling wines are proving their worth when tasted blind against Champagnes including producers such as Nyetimber, Camel Valley, Chapel Down et al making consistently good wines. There are others though such as Langham Estate in Dorset and Henners making wines such as the Henners Vintage and the Langham Classic cuvee.

Similar quality can be found in the cremant wines from French regions such as the Jura region, the Loire Valley, Limoux and Burgundy, where the methode traditionelle is the key to their quality, although they use other grapes such as Chenin Blanc in the Loire Valley. These wines, such as that from Sauvion, blend a little Chardonnay with the Chenin Blanc and have a mousse that is rich and frothy with ripe up-front flavours of peach and white-fleshed fruits, followed by a refreshing finish.

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There are plenty of options to try so why not give them a go?