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Sparkling Wine: Explored

Three Wine Men's Oz Clarke takes a look at sparkling wines from around the world.

London Wine Week couldn't come at a better time. Spring is hurtling towards summer. The days lengthen. The sun burns brighter and higher, and life is filled with the sweet optimism of balmy evenings when dusk may darken the sky but doesn't cool the air, and doesn't dampen our desire to celebrate, to laugh, to joke, to chatter and to flirt - and always to find time for just one more glass of bubbles before - if - we wend our way home.

And in that spirit, don't just lean back and order another bottle of a familiar fizz. Make this the week when every bottle you try is new. When every bottle you choose comes from a different grape, a different country.

Champagne? Of course. There are times when you just must have champagne. Sometimes you must have a famous name. But we've never had a more fascinating array of champagnes in Britain to choose from. So don't be nervous. Try something new. And French fizz isn't just champagne. The Loire Valley has been making good fizz for generations. Crémant de Loire is breezy, utterly refreshing - and affordable.

But remember. This is Britain, where all the world's wines jostle and congregate. Our own English and Welsh fizz is thrilling stuff. Spanish Cava has never been better. Prosecco and Franciacorta are beautiful bubbles with an Italian lilt.

Brazil's bubbles show why she is the party queen of South America, but Chile and Argentina are keen to show that they can roister too.

And way down in the Southern Seas, where neighbours are hard to come by and you have to make your own fun, the Aussies and Kiwis reckon their sparklers are almost too good to send abroad.

What are you waiting for?  Crack 'em open! Let the party begin!

Join Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin MW and Olly Smith at Let’s Get Fizzical with Three Wine Men to taste top fizz from around the world.  Full details at www.threewinemen.co.uk