Budget bubbly for the festive season

Sparkling wine is the perfect, celebratory drink for the festive season. Although a good sparkling wine does tend to be pricier than your average bottle of vino, there are plenty of great quality, affordable options available. We asked the experts for recommendations on their favourite budget bottles of bubbly that won’t taste or look cheap.

The Expert’s Pick
Food and wine writer, Michael Olivier, recommends the following sparkling wines for anyone on a budget:
Miss Molly – Moreson
“Miss Molly is a deliciously fruit-driven bubbly, citrus on the nose and a fine trail of bubbles,” says Olivier. “It has a baked, biscuity yeast on the palate and is nice and fresh on the finish.”
Miss Molly is selling for R75 a bottle from the cellar of Moreson.

Table Bay MCC Brut
“Mark Norrish is the knowledgeable wine guru for Ultra Liquors whose house bubbly this is. It is a well-priced Chardonnay Pinot Noir classic from the Robertson home of many good sparkling wines,” says Olivier. “Crisp, fresh, spicy, baked Granny Smith apples, lovely, leesy nuttiness and a vibrant bubble.  High value to price ratio.”
Table Bay MCC Brut is currently on special for R54.99 at Ultra Liquers until 31 December 2012.

J C Le Roux Le Domaine
“An excellent sparkler for those who love a touch of sweetness,” says Olivier, “Delicious Muscat undertow in this Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc and Muscat blend.  Lively bubbles and long flavours.”
JC Le Domaine is available at Pick ‘n Pay for around R 49.95.

The Best Value Wine Guide Winners
The Best Value Wine Guide’s 2012 sparkling wine winner was the Du Toitskloof Cape Secco Beach Club Blanc. This floral, grapey and slightly sweet sparkling wine scores three stars and retails at around R26.50.
The 2011 winner was the Swartland Cuvѐe Brut. Described by Swartland Winery as ‘a fresh, ‘crackling’, sparkling wine’, it currently retails at www.wine.co.za for R57 per bottle or R40 per bottle from the Swartland winery.

The International Award Winners
This year, two South African sparkling wines made it onto the top 10 “Best Sparkling Wines in the World” list at the 2012 Effervescents du Monde competition held in Dijon, France.

Boschendal Le Grand Pavillon Brut Rosé
Launched in 2008, this is Boschendal’s first Rosé Méthode Cap Classique. It is currently selling at Makro for R89.95 a bottle – a great price for an international award winner.

Pongracz Rosé Brut
This Chardonnay Pinot Noir blend is a real treat. If you have the budget to afford it, pick up a bottle of this internationally acclaimed Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wine at Norman Goodfellows for R127.

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*All prices correct at time of publication and subject to change thereafter.