Wines To Watch: Bottles Of BUBBLY For Every Budget – By Expat Sommelier Daan Suijlen

Cos' everybody loves a bubbly!
21 December 2018

From Champagne to Franciacorta to Cava to Prosecco to Cremant – there’s always something special about sparkling wine!

With all the Christmas gathering, and New Year’s Eve parties coming up real soon – it’s definitely the season for sparkling wine. Getting the right bubbly can be confusing though. With the different variations and names, one might wonder what to drink and for which occasion?

Please let me explain the important rules to remember. There are a few ways in which you can make sparkling wine. Champagne is the leading region and has its own specific way of making the wine, with strict rules. When other regions outside Champagne follow this method they often call them Methode Classique (Cava, Franciacorta, Cremant). In Singapore, I prefer these because they don’t have the big marketing names (and thus their price), but do have the quality. Occasionally, they are even better than their ‘Champagne’ counterparts.

Then we have prosecco, I love a good prosecco. This method is different from the way Champagne makes their sparkling wine and results in a more fruit forward wine. Light, refreshing and sometimes even off dry – works very well in the Singaporean heat.

So what to drink? And why?! Especially in the holiday season. Let it be as aperitif or combined with some food. Sparkling wine always delivers. I have tried to find unique wines, with good value for money and a cool story to tell:

Up to 30$ – $40: Ramon Berenguer I Cava Brut Nature

From: Spain
Price: $30 (Available at Bar.celona)

This Cava uses the methode classique as described above. Besides that: Brut Nature means no added sugar. I like that because it won’t have that artificial sweet taste and keeps the wine dry. This is such a good price in Singapore. Ideal for larger parties where you want to serve something special without paying premium. Besides that, this wine will stand up against any mainstream Champagne brand in Singapore. I’m super impressed by Bar.celona’s cava selection, the rose is great as well. Serve with fatty ham or crisps – it’s extremely dry so can take more fatty appetizers.

 

Up to $40 – $60: Prosecco 2017 DOC (Tasi)

(image)

From: Venice, Italy
Price:$40 (Available at Bacco wines)

This prosecco is everything you expect from a Prosecco. Light, refreshing, dry and fruity. Great to start off your meal, or to have when celebrating something. In local Veneto dialect ‘Tasi’ means ‘hush’. According to the winemaker this is a call to not take yourself too seriously. Take a sip, enjoy the weather and life. I love this story!

 

Up to $50 – $90: Roger Coulon Brut 1er Cru – Champagne

(image)

From: Champagne, France
Price:$50 (Available at RedMart)

Of course I wanted to have at least 1 champagne in this list. And this one is very special. Redmart has it on sale for quite a while now, which makes it a total bargain. I use this as an aperitif for special dinner parties. It’s such a good Champagne, luckily it doesn’t have the big name so not many people know it – but it does have the taste. It is extremely complex, the colour will be dark yellow and it reminds me of cooked apples and apricots. So good! Have on its own or with cheese (soft) like burrata or salty crisps.

 

About Daan Suijlen

Dutch expat Daan is a passionate home chef and certified sommelier. At the age of 5, he preferred to be in the kitchen watching his grandma cook – and that passion has never left him! Having studied wine following WSET, he now loves to combine the best of both worlds: amazing food with great wines. Follow him at Instagram under @wineandcooking.

By Daan Suijlen, 21 December 2018

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