Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Joanna Simon in The Sunday Times, February 8, 2009: Pink fizz

I could be missing something, but Lanson’s claim that its new 20cl bottle of pink champagne is “the perfect size to share” seems extraordinary. I know no one wants to be seen flaunting money at present, but I would have thought that expecting 20cl - little more than quarter of a standard bottle – to stretch to two people was grounds for ending any relationship on the spot.

Size aside, it’s not bad in a fruity, easygoing style (£9.99, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Majestic), or £25.53 for a 75cl bottle, which I hardly need point out is a better deal (Tesco, at this price until February 14). But the point of high-profile brands is not value for money so much as buying a name. Less famous labels are cheaper. Two good value ones currently are De Castelnau Rosé (£16.99 instead of £26.99 until February 15, Co-op) and Carlin Rosé (£19.99, The Real Wine Company, 01753 885619).

If you’re happy to splash the cash or plastic, the rosés of Bollinger, Krug and Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque (the latter in its timelessly chic enamelled bottle) will show that you mean business (£59-£200). Good luck to you.

Blason de Bourgogne Rosé, £9.99
Great value, strawberry-scented fizz from Burgundy (Waitrose).

Devaux Cuvée Rosée Champagne, £26.99-£30
Lively and seductuvely fruity (Frank Stainton, 01539 731886;; Villeneuve Wines, 01721 729922; Liberty Wines, 020 7720 5350) [can omit Liberty ]

Perrier Jouët Blason Champagne Rosé,
Stylish, sophisticated, deserves more stockists. No relation to the Bourgogne above (Majestic).