We’re well into 2020 and if alcohol free February is for you, it’s a perfect time to think about grown-up soft drinks which is a flourishing category in the drinks trade. There are plenty of non-alcoholic soft drinks to choose from, not least the delicious Welsh soft drink, The Original Lurvill’s left (infused with nettle, rhubarb & juniper) and Lurvill’s Lavender Spice (infused with lavender, ginger and horseradish). Another delicious one to try is the Franklin & Sons right (Strawberry & Cracked Pepper). February is also a good excuse to sip sparkling wines which can give a lift to the wintry blues. Quality and value is improving all the time and here are a few picks:
VILARNAU BRUT RESERVA ROSADO NV CAVA left (Penedes, Spain) £11.95
Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
Trepat and Pinot Noir grape varieties give this refreshing pink sparkling wine the delicious and mouth-watering strawberry and raspberry fruit flavours. The soft and juicy freshness with balanced acidity makes it perfect to enjoy on its own or with fresh prawns and pasta. The traditional method is used (for all Cava) which is the same method used to make Champagne and results in fine and delicate bubbles, a firm weightiness in the mouth and a persistent finish. The stylish mosiac bottle design reflects the artistic movement in Catalonia that used fragments of broken ceramic tiles. Beautiful.
EMILIANA ORGANIC SPARKLING NV right (Casablanca, Chile) £12.50
AWARDS: Int’l Wine Challenge 2018 – Silver/Sommelier Wine Awards 2019 – Silver
Organic, sustainable and suitable for vegetarians and vegans
The Casablanca Valley benefits from cool Pacific Ocean breezes and this helps to moderate the temperatures promoting a long, slow ripening allowing the flavours to gently build up. This is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir and is made using the traditional (Champenoise) method. Six months in contact with its lees (spent yeast cells) contribute to the warm, toasty flavours which sit happily alongside refreshing grapefruit, apple and tropical fruit flavours. Pairs well with shellfish, sushi and light dishes with mild cream sauces. A premium sparkling wine not to miss!
VICENTIN SPARKLING ROSADO DE MALBEC left (Mendoza, Argentina) £17.95
Not your usual rose sparkling. Delicate salmon colour. Made from Malbec grapes using the traditional (Champenoise) method. Mouth filling with fragrant, floral violets, blackberries and spice. Refreshing and persistent.
If you like Malbec, this is worth a try on its own or with charcuterie.
WINE FOR LIFE LEARNING is a dynamic Approved Programme Provider of the Wine & Spirit Education
Trust and runs WSET qualifications in Swansea, Cardiff, all over Wales and Southwest England. Gift vouchers for the wine courses make ideal gifts. New upcoming 2020 dates confirmed for the WSET Level 1 and 2 Award in Wines.
To see details and to book please go to www.wineforlifelearning.co.uk.
*Prices and vintages correct at the time of print