KWV and Laborie
Champagne and port are oenological standards; great for starting and ending a meal - especially around Christmas time.
Whilst plenty of wine regions make fizz of one sort or another, port-alikes are less common.
These two wines are great value and bear more than a passing resemblance to the styles they imitate; even better, they are significantly cheaper.
Laborie Blanc de Blanc Brut MCC 2010 (£15.95, slurp, independents) delicate mousse, pure and clean with ripe orchard fruits, citrus, biscuity brioche and minerality; elegant, complex and layered. As good as many a Champagne BdB costing several times more. Drinking nicely now and will repay cellaring for several years.
Very Good Value. Good.
Drink as an aperitif or with light starters.
KWV Classic Cape Tawny (£9.00, The Wine Society) red fruits, eucalyptus, spice, toffee and marzipan, orange peel and cooked mixed fruits. Harmonious, rich and warming with an oily texture.
Drink as an after-dinner sipper, with dark chocolate and cherry torte or mince pies.