half bottles of champagneTop Five Sparkling Wines of 2012 this week. Which makes a change from 2011 where there was such a dearth of the decent bubbly stuff that a top sparkling round-up couldn’t be justified. Things are a little better this year. But while we’ve had a Top Ten Whites and Top Ten Reds, and even a Top Ten Under A Fiver, there still wasn’t quite enough tasty fizz this year to make a top ten list. So you’ll have to make do with a top five instead. And here they are.

Paula’s Top Five Sparkling Wines of 2012


Guy CharbautGuy Charbaut Cuvée de Réserve Champagne Brut NV

£13.20 (half bottle) www.halfwine.com

Rich enough to match many Christmas foods and even better it’s only slightly bubbly so there’ll be no after effects. Wonderful flavours of lemon curd and frangipane pie. Very nice.

Aldi Danti sparkling2

Aldi Danti Pinot Grigio Sparkling Brut

£4.99 Aldi

A complex sparkling that knocks spots off many champagnes selling at six times the price. Fresh aromas of grass, lemons, pears and apples followed by flavours of creamy gooseberry and almond biscuits. Lightly sparkling so the bubbles won’t get up your nose.


Broadwood’s Folly English Quality Sparkling Traditional Method Brut

£16.99 Tesco

A missing apostrophe in the listings on the Tesco Grocery website means the search function won’t find this wine but if you click through from Drinks > Wine > Champagne and Sparkling then you’ll find it, eventually. And it’s worth searching for with its apple and Brazil nut flavours with a lemon ending. Very similar in style to a Spanish Cava.

Villa Maria Sparkling4

Villa Maria New Zealand Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc 2011

£9.99 Amazon

This limited edition wine is getting hard to find you’ll still find it in a few independent wine shops and also on Amazon. Yes Amazon. The book people have branched out into groceries, well their Associates Programme has. Which means that although you go through the Amazon website to buy it the bottle will actually come from the Drink Finder (www.drinkfinder.co.uk). Expect subtlety from the flavours: fresh apple, coriander leaf and lime.


Co-op Fairtrade South African Sparkling Chardonnay Brut 2011

£7.99 Co-op

It tastes like Battenberg cake. Which, I think you’ll agree, is a Good Thing.

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk