Supermarket own-label champagnes have beaten offerings from the most-celebrated champagne houses in Which?’s festive taste tests this year, while the consumer champion also rated sparkling wines – with one impressive performer costing just £8.99.
Waitrose Blanc de Blancs Brut (£25.99) clinched one of this year’s Which? Best Buy titles, scoring 82 per cent and impressing the expert panellists with its balanced finish and savoury aftertaste. The experts described it as a pleasing and rewarding champagne with delicate, toasty notes and ripe fruit aromas.
Coming joint top with an 82 per cent score, and also earning a Best Buy, is Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne, a slightly cheaper option retailing at £23. Experts were initially surprised by the unusual golden colour, but they were impressed by the expressive aromas and flavours of brioche, roasted apples and a nutty finish.
These bottles were rated higher than the most expensive champagne the panel tasted. Popular brand Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial, costing £39.00 per bottle, did not particularly impress the experts – receiving one of the lower ratings at 68 per cent.
For those looking for a cheaper fizz this festive season, Which? also found a cheaper alternative to champagne that impressed the judges and earned a Best Buy. Aldi Specially Selected Crémant du Jura 2019, £8.99, scored an impressive 74 per cent and demonstrated that paying less does not have to mean compromising on quality.
Despite not coming top of the festive pops – other supermarket offerings delivered some delicious options. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Champagne Brut NV, £18.50, was flagged as a delicious – and cheaper – choice, with judges noting its smooth, complex, and well-integrated flavours.
M&S Louis Vertay Champagne Brut, £18, was also hailed by the panel for its gentle, crisp palate, nutty finish and elegant, pleasant aftertaste. The experts enjoyed the good complexity and intensity of this toasty, fruity champagne.
Natalie Hitchins, Which? Home Products and Services Editor, said:
“No matter what your budget is, you can be sure that your celebrations will fizz with top-quality champagne and sparkling wine for friends and family to enjoy this festive season.
“Once again our taste tests have proven that supermarket champagnes can more than hold their own against the famous champagne houses, delivering excellent quality and great value for money.”
Notes to editors:
The Which? expert judging panel comprised of four champagne and wine specialists, including:
- Sam Caporn MW: Master of wine, consultant, speaker, writer and co-chair of the International Wine Challenge (IWC)
- Federica Zanghirella: Wine expert and vice-president of the UK Sommelier Association
- Magnavai Janjo: Founder of wine importer and consultancy MJ Wine Cellars
- Peter Richards MW: Master of wine, writer, presenter and broadcaster
- Crémant is a type of French sparkling wine produced using the same traditional method as champagne, yet from other regions, and is often made with grapes other than Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier – the ones normally used for champagne.
- Which? only awards its Best Buy logo to those products that hit the gold standard for quality in its independent tests.
- Prices are correct as of October 2022
- For images, please contact email@example.com
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