Once you pop…

Christmas is a coming and typically at this time of year you may be thinking about laying in a bottle of champagne or two. It’s a very special thing a glass of good fizz and always a great way to break the ice. Raul Diaz – who runs monthly masterclasses at OAK N4 – recommends it above all else to get the party started.

But, what to buy? As you may know, if you are one of Wine Bluffer’s avid readers, OAK N4 are big fans of English sparkling wine*, and stock some fine, and award-winning examples. Gusbourne’s Brut Reserve is one that you’ll love. It’s Gusbourne’s best-selling wine, a combination of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, and I can see why.

The Gusbourne Estate in Appledore, Kent dates from 1410. When John de Gosborne died the estate passed to Philip Chute, a man of distinction and huge wealth who fought for Henry VIII at the siege of Boulogne in 1544. His standard carried a crest featuring three geese, and Gusbourne pay tribute to this history with a goose on their bottles. Four and a half centuries later Andrew Weeber took over with a clear vision to create English sparkling wines that would punch their weight against the best in the world, including Champagne. Since 2004, the estate has earned a reputation as a producer of outstanding quality wines, winning awards and the approval of the industry’s most exacting critics.

Try some. Brut Reserve is a bright gold in the glass. On the tongue you get highlights red fruit aromas of cherry and strawberry, which then develop into attractive fresh pastry notes with a touch of cinnamon and spice. With a bright streak of citrus fruit, the palate is clean and fresh with a long, refreshing finish.

Come along for a little pre-Christmas cheer and take a bottle or two home with you for when the rellies descend.

* Wine Bluffer says: While the French have Champagne, the Italians, Prosecco and Spanish, Cava there is no collective name for British sparkling wine. Britagne has been espoused by some makers but the search is now on to distinguish our product from our near neighbours, if only for marketing purposes.

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