Jilly Goolden’s Sussex Life magazine wine column – November 2013

Jilly Goolden

Jilly Goolden - Credit: JIm Holden

Each month, wine expert Jilly Goolden will be recommending great value supermarket wines as well as finds from our local wine shops. Let the tasting commence!`

I promised to bring you the ‘must buy’ wines each month, and there’s just such at thing at Waitrose right now. It’s a bargain Champagne that’s quite delicious. I used not to rate Canard-Duchêne Champagne; it went through a bad patch. But now it’s right back on form, with a seductive, toasty bouquet and mature, creamy mouth-feel. It’s on offer at £19.99 until just after New Year, so get some in for the festivities! Contrary to common myth, Champagne gets better with age, so if you’ve got a ‘do’ coming up later next year – or even the year after – get some in and stick it in a cupboard.

A Sussex-based independent wine shop I’d like to point the spotlight on this month is Wine Discoveries in Forest Row. The team there source unusual wines from small producers, especially in France and, as with all good independents, give extra value for money with good knowledge, Saturday tastings, delivery and beer on draught. They supply sterile plastic bottles in which you can take home two, four or eight pints of Harvey’s best at £2.40 a pint, or Westerham brewery ale recreated from an old recipe at £2.20 a pint.

With Christmas and New Year on the horizon, I’d like to highlight another fizz available there, the delicious creamy Cremant d’Alsace Charles Baur at £13.99; it’s very creamy (though cremant actually indicates that it is less fizzy than a Champagne, for instance). Made from Pinot Blanc, Auxerrois and Chardonnay, it’s easy to love with its sugared almond scent and deliciously savoury palate. And you don’t have to have a special occasion on which to enjoy it; it’s brill as an ‘aperitif’ or with light meat dishes and fish.


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