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With the wedding season upon us, what better time to shine a spotlight on the most celebratory of drinks?

Champagne is an area of northern France, centred on the two towns of Rheims and Epernay. The vineyards, famous for their chalky limestone soils, are full of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, many of which are sold to the big Champagne houses to be made into very well-known brands and eventually sprayed over a triumphant racing driver, or to christen a cruise ship.

But there is a seriousness behind this frivolous image. Champagne is a complex, sophisticated wine, steeped in tradition. There are many grape growers who don't sell their fruit to the big Houses, but make their own cuvees, many of which easily rival the big names in quality and consistency but without the 'designer label' price tag. De Lozey is one such grower. Family run and completely independent, they make superb wines of great quality and attention to detail.

 

Brut Tradition, the house wine, offers a delicious biscuity flavour with good acidity and an fruity taste. Ask for a taste next time you're in the shop. Currently £90 for three bottles

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