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Monday, 20 June 2011

Summer Picnic Fizz

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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