Saturday, February 12, 2011

If you must drink pink fizz . . .

Those of you who follow my Guardian column will know that I've had a bit of a rant today about the relentless pressure on us to buy our 'loved ones' (loathe that expression) a bottle of pink champagne. It's not that I mind pink fizz as such I just resent the mark-ups the champagne producers put on it and the fact that the discounts are never as good as they seem.

Take Oddbins current price cut of £14 on Laurent Perrier rosé. You might reasonably conclude that makes it a fantastic bargain but at 'only' £45.99 instead of £59.99 it's still overpriced. Lanson rosé, which is by no means cheap, is £11 cheaper at £34.99 (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Waitrose.)

You'd be better off buying a bottle of Sainsbury's own brand rosé champagne at £20 or, if you can't bring yourself to pour a bottle of own label for your beloved, take advantage of their current offer on Taittinger which they're selling at £23.32 instead of £34.99. Admittedly not pink but not bad for a grande marque. I'm less keen on Marks and Spencer's offer on Oudinot at £15 instead of £25. I've never liked the Oudinot label that much.

For real credit crunch drinking the best bargain this weekend (Cava apart and your partner will know Cava is cheap) is the attractive wild strawberry-flavoured Bluff Hill Rosé from New Zealand, down from £9.99 to £7.99 at Marks and Spencer. It's very similar to Lindauer Rosé (on sale at the same price if you buy two bottles at Majestic) which is no great surprise as it's made by the same producer, Pernod Ricard.

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