If you are after an inexpensive champagne then ASDA’s £10 deal on Louvel Fontaine Brut is hard to beat, though the same producer’s pink (Gruet not GH Martel) at £14 is a step up in quality. For well known houses in an apertif style I’d go for Piper Heidsieck Brut at £18 (also at ASDA) now a consistently well made wine or for only £2 more the Chardonnay-led Taittinger Brut Réserve at Sainsbury’s. I’d be tempted by Louis Roederer Brut Premier at Majestic for £27.99 if you buy two bottles.
If you want something pink Lanson’s rose is crisp and clean and on offer in ASDA and Morrisons at about the same price. Veuve Clicquot’s rose is not sadly on any very attractive deal but it is drinking really well currently if you want to splash out. There are other better value buys in my top ten and growers’ pink articles.
There are plenty of worthwhile discounts on red and white wines at the supermarkets too and we’ve selected a few at different price levels for the weekend. White Burgundy with some palate intensity comes in Blason de Bourgogne’s 2010 Montagny (down £3.99 to £8 at Sainsbury’s until 29 April). Decent inexpensive Pinot Noir from Burgundy seems harder to find, but New Zealand is often a better alternative under £15 and ASDA’s 2012 Matua is a very enjoyable, sweet raspberry fruited Pinot at just £7.98 which won a IWSC trophy.
If you are having roast lamb two classic options at Sainsbury’s until 29 April are Marchese Antinori Chianti Classico Reserva 2008, down £3 to £15.99, which has just the right amount of acidity to cut through lamb’s fattiness. Or try a delicious mature claret from the hottest vintage on record (but unlike in Champagne some very good wines were made in Bordeaux) in the shape of Grand Cru Classe Chateau Olivier 2003 reduced by £2 a bottle to £27.99, a property that I note featured in Tim Atkin’s article last August entitled ’10 most underrated Bordeaux Chateaux’. Graves is meant to have fared less well in 2003 than some northern communes but this wine is one of the exceptions.