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Monday, 20 June 2011

Summer Picnic Fizz

This article also appears in the July issue of Cambridge Edition

Cambridge is blessed with many beauty spots, but my ideal picnic would probably start with a walk through the beautiful historic city centre followed by a punt down to Granchester.

Most typical picnic food is actually quite hard to match with wine, so the trick is to go for something well-made, but straighforward and crowd-pleasing. Nothing makes a statement quite like fizz, so finding a cheap and cheerful bottle of picnic fizz can be quite a big ask. Fortunately, here are three that will match well, won't disappoint and won’t blow your budget.

First up is a light, refreshing and elegant Italian Prosecco from Bacchanalia. It’s a semi-sparkling frizzante and you will need a corkscrew for this one. It has a light, crisp refreshing fizz, with apples and pears acidity, some yeastiness on the nose, a hint of sweetness on the mid-palate and a persistent finish.

If you want to make a bit more of a statement, pink fizz is perhaps the ultimate summer indulgence. Cava Portaceli Rosado NV from Cambridge Wine Merchants, made by the traditional Champagne method and aged for 9 months, is more of a food wine and has a greater body and depth of flavour to stand up to picnic foods.

There is some yeastiness on the nose from the Champagne-method production and a lively, foaming mousse; it feels rounded and has a complex, savoury depth of flavour with food-friendly leesiness and balanced, fresh acidity.

However, the most instantly crowd-pleasing of the three straight out of the bottle is an Italian Sacchetto Rose Brut NV from Naked Wines. Made from a blend of Pinot and Merlot, it has aromas of redcurrants and raspberries. It feels ripe and rounded on the palate and has an easy-drinking creamy texture that tingles on the tongue like sherbet.

The Wines

Primo Prosecco DOC Vino Frizzante, £7.69 from Bacchanalia
Cava Portaceli Rosado NV, £7.49 from Cambridge Wine Merchants
Sacchetto Rose Brut NV, £10.49 from Naked Wines (with £3.50 cashback for Naked Angels)

Cambridge Edition - http://www.cambsedition.co.uk/
Bacchanalia - http://www.winegod.co.uk/
Cambridge Wine Merchants - http://www.cambridgewine.com/
Naked Wines - http://www.nakedwines.com/

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