Book that sparkles with knowledge

Tom Stevenson is a world authority on sparkling wines and he has set up his own World Championships to discover the best sparkling wines in the world. With the help of Australian Dr Tony Jordan who has made Chandon wines in Australia and consulted around the world, and Essi Avellan, Master of Wine, hundreds of sparkling wines were tasted and judged. The results are in his new book, Champagne and Sparkling Wine Guide 2015 (Price Sinclair Publishing, £29.99). This book isn’t just a list of tasting notes; it brings together Stevenson’s knowledge from a career following sparkling wine development. His top choice? Roederer Cristal Rosé 2002. This is a book that lifts the gloss from champagne and sparkling wines and tells you exactly who is making what and how.

Cool and breezy, vines are above the fog line at Ridge..

Bring me sunshine

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Rob at Hoults in Huddersfield (01484 510700) has lapsed into (poor) French to tell his customers about the offer of 20 per cent off all French wines until tomorrow. Top choice on his shelves is Lallier Grand Cru Reserve Brut Champagne at £28. Having tasted through well over a hundred champagnes recently, this one shone out for its light biscuit style and generous, rounded flavours. With sunshine on its way there is always a reason to pop a cork.

Ideal for spring lamb

A rack of lamb at the weekend called for a serious Rioja and CUNE Imperial Reserva 2009 fitted the bill perfectly. Mulberries, spice, oak under control and a lovely, long finish partnered the lamb supremely well. Normally £22 at Majestic this is now £17 when you buy two bottles. Stock up.