Thursday, 20 June 2013

Bubbles On A Budget

I like champagne….a lot. I also have virtually zero disposable income. This presents a quaffing conundrum if you’re a posh at heart pleb like myself. However, there are ways of indulging in the scrumptious sparkling sauce that don’t require selling a kidney.

Firstly a quick word on Prosseco. IT IS NOT champagne. It isn't even a champagne substitute. For one, Prosicko comes from a different country. It uses different grapes AND a different production method. Comparing the two would be like trying to twin Yorkshire with Dubai.

To make champers you need classy grapes like pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. To make Poosucko you just need cold piss and a soda stream. Even Lambrini considers itself a rung up the liquor ladder.

I only came in for some milk

The big myth is that champers is expensive. Like all things you get what you pay for but you really don’t have to spend an epic amount to get a good one. A bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal is about £130 but a bottle of Louis Roederer Brut is only £30. Both are made by the same company, using the same technique, with the same grapes but one has a gold label and a longer shelf life thanks to a clever UV filtering wrapper. See if you can guess which one.

bargain prices!!

Think £30 is still a bit much? Well, if you’re prepared to hunt around the supermarkets you’ll find some cork popping deals. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label for £24 in Sainsbury's?…..don’t mind if I do! Nicolas Feuillatte and Andre Carpentier on a Fathers Day Tesco offer for £15 each……..we’re gonna need a bigger boot!
Impulse purchases can be dangerous though. Etienne Dumont is constantly on offer. There’s a reason for that and your toilet will thank you for steering well clear.

If you’re going to buy champagne for the first time don’t buy the cheapest. My pref’d tipple is Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and if I could, would drink it by the pint load. Which I do.
mmmm frozen raspberries mmmm

thicker glass keeps it cold

Iiii doonnt hav a pro blemm *hick*

Other bottles of note around £30 are Moet, Lanson, Laurent Perrier and Tattinger. All of which are reassuringly French sounding and rather scrummy but taste is only one half of the should I/shouldn't I equation. According to the missus, Moet makes me a grumpy drunk. Tattinger makes me a happy drunk but I get a longer buzz from Veuve Clicquot. Nicolas Feuillatte made me not want to be near anything loud the next day.

bit a Bolly daaaaarling

Drinking alone is a bit sad. You’ll need food as well!

Through extensive research I've found that foods beginning with the letter ‘C’ make a great companion. Chips, chocolate, crisps, curry, Chinese and chiwawa all work really well. I've found champagne is a very good pallet cleanser. The acidity clears and resets while the bubbles refresh to leave a fruity aftertaste. Think Cillit Bang for your gob.

Financing the fizz.
World-o-Quid shops like Poundland will be your biggest ally. Essentials like Warburtons bread, crisps, choccy and bribes for the kids can all be procured at a hugely reduced outlay compared to even the cheapest supermarket. If you can’t bear the thought of standing shoulder to shoulder with the great unwashed then get your shopping delivered online. 
“How will that save money?” I hear you gasp. 
Well, supermarkets now have an equal opportunities policy that insists a percentage of their staff be local and cranially challenged. In Stockport's case this means there's a never-ending supply. It also means there are nearly always order cock ups. A reasonably quick call to customer services should secure a free delivery and token discount off your next shop. Et voila, cash back.
If you're prepared to haggle and you can get over the secondhandedness, then eBay and carboot sales are well worth a punt. They've personally saved me thousands of squids, no really! Besides, carboots aren’t the embarrassing ailment you think they are. You've only got to look at the clientele parking to figure that out. In amongst the crappy Fords and Peugeot's are spanky new Range Rovers, Lexi (plural of Lexus), Beamers and Mercs. My personal fave parked up in a field was a 1year old Nissan GT-R in go-faster black. You've only got to Google the starting price of one to realize the rich aren't stupid. 
I think my best buy was a pair of pristine Fire XC Pro bike tyres which cost a grand total of £3. 
Total amount saved = £30
In just one purchase I'd got the rubber my bike needed and enough left over to get thoroughly mortaled.

Take my advice and start saving now, the drunken bliss that awaits you is well worth it.


  1. Christmas sorted then and also you forgot CHEESE in the c group, an oversight I am sure.

    1. cheese is just wrong, end of.

    2. It's made from gone-off mammary fluids.

      No further questions m'lud.

  2. "I think my best buy was a pair of pristine Fire XC Pro bike tyres which cost a grand total of £3" was this shortly before you crashed and broke your wrist?
    VC M&C and most other champers all taste like grot to me. some sainsburys demi sec was the nicest I ever drunk, but then I'm a philistine alcoholically speaking.

    1. sshhh! no one knows about the broken wrist!!

  3. I'm quite shocked