If you’re anything like us, then the holiday season is an excuse to break out those ugly sweaters, put up Christmas decorations, and turn up the heat. It’s also a time for fizz!
Whether serving it at a festive dinner party, a little yuletide time by the fire, or popping a bottle after a long winter walk, sparkling wine is a festive choice to pair with those twinkle lights and cosy vibes. And let’s face it, with a paper cup of mass-batch mulled wine at the Christmas markets now costing upwards of £8, it might just be that English sparkling is suddenly the more affordable holiday tipple.
We’ve put together a list, in no particular order, of our top 10 sparkling wines. Not only can we personally vouch for the bang-for-buck quality of these suggestions (having tried them all recently); they all ring in at £30 or less. With so many great and affordable options, there’s no need to wait until New Year’s Eve to pop the cork!
This is a great classic sparkling to serve to those guests who remain sceptical about the superiority and value of traditional method English wines. Sure to convert, this brut hits all the citrus and toasty notes you’d expect, with a few surprises (quince and lemon grass perhaps?) With some Pinot Blanc added to the traditional trio of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, this is a crowd pleaser.
A solid deal when purchased as part of a mixed case – we tasted this classic offering at the The Kent Vineyard & Winery Show last month. This is traditional method done right; the quintessential three gape combination and a solid 38 months on lees manages to produce a sparkling that is both mineral and creamy, fruit-forward but dry and toasty. It’s a complex treat and perfect for pre-dinner drinks, or even to serve with that Christmas roast.
We first tried this fresh and slightly floral Brut at Loki wine bar in Birmingham, where it stood out amongst the usual (and more expensive) favourites. Mostly Pinot Meneuir with 25% Chardonnay, this wine is both smooth and complex, with elderflower and apple and a bit of tart gooseberry. If you can find this at your favourite no-corkage wineshop, it makes a great and festive night out with friends.
Another wine bar night brought us to Arch 13 where we snagged the last chilled bottle of Sharpham’s Col Fondo “Figgie Daniel” from Sandridge Barton in Devon. Fruity but not sweet – due to the inclusion of Madeleine Angevine and Bacchus, this sparkling is another great pick for the natural wine crowd. Slightly cloudy with the leftover lees but light and punchy on the tongue. This is a great pick for those intergenerational celebrations – a complex and thoughtful sparkling that comes in a hip package.
Nothing says Christmas quite like baked bread and dried fruit! It’s almost as if this multi-vintage combination of traditional method grapes was made for the holidays. Don’t let the ‘non-vintage’ label fool you – this sparkling spends considerable time on lees and is drinkable with or without food, making it perfectly versatile for the busy Christmas season. The MV Rosé is also fantastic and, for those dreaming of a warm holiday, is a nice nod to summer.
This natural style English fizz spent a week on skins before fermentation to give it a lovely rose gold hue. Green strawberry and lemon on the nose, and tart and dry to taste, with a hint of rhubarb. With the tiniest bit of residue remaining at the bottom this is a unique sparkling that will especially please natural wine lovers. While the 2021 we tried is sold out, the 2022 is now available.
Perhaps the most unique wine on our list, we spent a harvest afternoon sipping Renegade’s Bethnal Bubble while watching (and tasting) their premier cuvée get crushed. While it’s tempting to call this a sparkling wine for beer lovers, the results here are far more complex and deserve their own recognition. Nice acid, with hazy IPA vibes, these bubble are dry-hopped before second fermentation. Make sure you chill well first to keep the foam at bay, then enjoy with friends and thank us later.
While this secret has been out for some time, we managed to reacquaint ourselves recently at the Vineyards of Hampshire Fairy Lights and Fizz event in Winchester. Lively aromas, white orchard fruits, and a zesty fizz, this sparkling covers all the bases at a very reasonable price point. Sure, there’s some pedigree to the Pommery label, and you would expect the finesse it delivers, but at £26 a bottle, this Brut holds its own in the company of well-known Hampshire heavyweights.
Another wine we’re pushing through on a technicality, Brabourne’s single bottle Classic Cuvée is available at £33 but if you buy a case of six (trust us, it’s worth it), each bottle amounts to about 27.50 making this not only one of the best 6-case deals around, but also a genuinely fantastic wine. We recently spent some time with Hester (and furry companion Daisy) at Brabourne and the attention to quality, detail, biodiversity and sustainability practice here is something a lot of larger operations can learn from. What have we learned? Small vineyards make great wine. Divide that case out for gifts and your friends and family will thank you for exposing them to one of Kent’s best kept secrets.
Ok, so technically this classic blend of Pinot Meunier , Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay tips the scales at just over £30 but it’s worth skipping that morning coffee run to make room in your wallet. A deeper sparkling, the Culver NV is rich and bright, but brings those harvest vibes with red fruits, a bit of spice, some nuttiness, and those brioche notes we all look for any time of the year. This is a must-buy fireside fizz.
We hope our curated list of sparkling wines under £30 adds a little extra sparkle to your festive season. At UK Fizz, we’re dedicated to bringing you not just the finest selections, but also the stories and passion behind every bottle.
Remember, the magic of sparkling wine isn’t just for toasting; it’s for enjoying any day of the week, making the ordinary moments extraordinary. We encourage you to explore these delightful options and perhaps, start new traditions this holiday season.
We’d love to hear your thoughts if you indulge in any of these sparkling wines during the festive period! Moreover, If you’re a winery looking to elevate your online presence and ensure your bottles are on everyone’s Christmas wish list, or If you would like to be featured on future blogs, or to work with us on developing your online profile to make sure your wines stand out on the shelf and resonates with customers all year round please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Wishing you a holiday brimming with joy and a New Year filled with prosperity.
Warmly, The UK Fizz Team