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raise a glass.

Byline: with Jane Clare

THE best way to bring in the New Year is with a perfect pop! Closely followed by fizzy frothiness streaming into a giddily clasped glass. It's just so exciting.

With no science involved, here are some ideas for sparklers and party wines.

SPARKLIES FOR LESS THAN A TENNER: Tesco T Finest Pignoletto (PS8.99, pictured) is an alternative to Prosecco (Pignoletti is the name of the grape) but just ever so slightly different. It was very giddy when poured, like an overexcited puppy. Then when it settled into a soft delicate fizz, it was laced with peach and pear flavours.

I've mentioned Sainsbury's Taste the T Difference Prosecco Conegliano here before. It won Great Value Sparkling in the International Wine Challenge and is reduced to PS7.50 from PS10 until January 1. In Asda, Wine Selection Cava at PS4.70 is a great party wine and should make lovely Bucks Fizz... and its Extra Special Prosecco is at PS6. BUDGET CHAMPERS: Chink together a few glasses of French Connection Brut (PS11.99 from PS13.99 until January 5 at Bargain Booze) which has enough celebratory creaminess and citrus bite to support you as you work out why every year whizzes by quicker than the last.

Aldi's Champagne Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut (PS9.99) consistently hits the spot with a pocketfriendly siz-azzle of fine bubbles, lemon and apples.

SPEND A LITTLE BIT MORE: Ayala, Brut A Majeur (PS25, winetrust100.co.uk) is a delicate, nutty, fresh and lemony Champagne, with just a touch of brioche. It has been marked a high 95 by the website's masters of wine. Sip and reflect that this is served by the glass in the Savoy Grill.

A favourite Champers I tried at a festive tasting was Averys Special Cuvee A Brut. The Champagne (from PS19.99, www.averys.com) is elegant, rich, and biscuity but with ribbons of squeezed light citrus. Loved it.

The Co-op's Les Pionniers Champagne 2006 vintage (PS24.99) has picked up a silver from the Internatio Challenge. Its older sister, th won many, m and the 2006 i to do even bet a layered palat apple and gent fruit and a delic moreishness, w lingering, nutty Over at Marks Abel Charlot Br PS16 down from PS January 1. That's for a Champers w of shortbrea and lemon a caramelised TAKE.A.B PARTYWHI PWinemakers' Selection CoRhone Blanc (PS6.50, Sains is a stone fru compote wh perfectly pe as a backd to good pa conversati Mud Ho Sauvignon (PS10.49, Tes has vibrant, grapefruit w some tropica coming to liv the party fun. The Siren Chenin BChardonnay Viognier (PS5,99, the Co-op) is a friendly white cuddle wapples, peaches, lemonand a dab of lime.

TAKE.A.BOTTLE PARTY P REDS: Pop over to Amazon for Tussock Jumper's Portuguese Touriga T Nacional (www.tussockjumperwines.com/the-wines/touriganacional-aragonez - latesprice, PS26.97 for three) which is rich, rounded, with mellow fruits and a peek of chocolate. To tastehedgerow fruits, and a goospicy bite.

Saumur Champigny 2011 Chateau de Targe e (PS11.75, Majestic) is Cabernet Franc from the Loire and has strawberries, raspberries, a wave of a herb garden in a breeze with licks of lavender.

The Venturer Series Costieres De Nimes (PS4.79, Aldi) is packed with berries and brambles, sprinkled with dried mixed herbs and black pepper. Hide it behind the bread bin at your party pal's house.

| WISH you all the best for 2015 and if you are starting an alcohol-free January then best of luck.

Contact meat jane@onefootinthegrapes.co.uk
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 27, 2014
Words:595
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