The change of government has created a change in narrative and the constant doom and gloom in the media has put Tony Cox in the mood to come up with some great value bubbles. If we aren’t splurging it is still important to reward oneself and what better than those effervescent little bubbles doing internally what a visit to the day spa does externally!
For those of you who love Champagne, there are several smart options from various regions in France. Look for crémant from a designated region made using the Methode Traditionelle. The most readily available and good quality are Cremant d’Alsace, Cremant d’Loire and Cremant de Bourgogne.
A great little bargain can be found at Dan Murphy’s with the Cremant d’Alsace Cuvee Julien from Dopff au Moulin being eminently drinkable. Made from Pinot Blanc grapes it is fresh and neutral in flavour. Perfect for spring with some fresh prawns, a little seafood sauce, sourdough bread and slabs of butter.
Louis Bouillot, based in Nuits St Georges in Burgundy, produces a range of Cremant de Bourgogne.
The Perle d’Ivoire Blanc de Blancs features white flowers and citrus notes giving way to integrated yeasty nuances. More generous and rounded than its more northerly Champagne counterparts this is a cracking little drink – fantastic with Spring Carnival fare such as chicken finger sandwiches (The Bird at Noosa Junction make delicious ones) or smoked salmon and cream cheese mini bagels.
The Perle d’Aurora Rose de Presse is a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and gamay. It features red fruits with mid palate weight with tapering acidity to close. Perfect with duck spring rolls or chunky beef party pies.
Marc Bredif Brut Vouvray, from the Loire Valley, is made from Chenin Blanc grapes and takes advantage of that varietal’s high natural acidity which creates wonderful freshness. When combined with the green apple flavour profile of the grape it makes for great spring drinking – pulled pork and brioche buns are just the treat to wash down with this.
Coming into footy finals, Spring Racing Carnival or just any old get-together these delicious bubbly delights don’t break the bank. Don’t forget to bulk up the food and starch it up a little so you don’t peak too soon, and bread does the job brilliantly. If looking for a gluten free number pan fried toasties using good quality gluten free bread are delicious with gooey, cheesy goodness (if you’re reading this and wanting a trim waistline, I recommend reading another column).
Just a couple of examples which provide the feeling of Champagne without the price tag and we can all use a bit of that in our lives.
Cheers and good drinking!