An English sparkling wine has finished top in Which?’s annual Christmas taste test – beating strong rivals from France, Spain and Italy.
Which? invited supermarkets to nominate a vintage or non-vintage (NV) champagne alternative for inclusion in our taste test. It had to be either own-label or exclusive to them, dry (brut), white, from any grape or blend and priced between £7.50 and £20.
An English fizz has topped the Which? taste test this year and earned the first of the three coveted Best Buys. Exclusive to Morrisons, Denbies Chalk Valley English Sparkling Brut NV (£16) raised the biggest cheer, with the expert panel awarding it a score of 77 per cent and praising its “brisk fizz and tropical fruity flavour”. Panel members noted baked apple and elderflower flavours, and one compared the aroma of the fizz to lychee.
The second Which? Best Buy, with an impressive score of 76 per cent, went to a French sparkling wine. Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cremant (£11) was described by the experts as “simple and refreshing” with “attractive herbal and pear notes”.
For those on the look-out for something a little different this year, the third Best Buy should fit the bill. There’s more to Italian sparkling wine than prosecco, and this Tesco Finest Franciacorta DOCG Brut (£15) is a case in point. The Which? expert panel gave this year’s fashionable fizz a score of 75 per cent, and recommended this “clean, fresh” sparkling wine to those who like “gently frothy” bubbles, admiring its “fine, almost shy mousse”.
Asda delivered the highest scoring prosecco in our test. The Asda Extra Special Prosecco Asolo Brut DOCG (£8) edged ahead of strong competition from Lidl, Aldi and the Co-op to be awarded 71 per cent by the panel. Describing it as “fun and frothy”, the experts detected “notes of peach and pear” in this inexpensive fizz.
Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said:
“For those looking for a change from prosecco this Christmas, our Best Buy English fizz is an excellent option.
“The quality and choice on offer this year is good news for lovers of sparkling wine. Whether you’re keen to try something different or you’re a die-hard prosecco fan, our experts have found some great supermarket offerings for you to enjoy.”
Notes to Editors:
Which?’s non-champagne sparkling wine panel experts tasted 240 glasses of wine this year. The panel were:
Richard Bampfield: Master of Wine, European Champagne Ambassador 2009
Peter McCombie: Master of Wine, speaker, consultant, and co-chair of the International Wine Challenge
Sam Caporn: Master of Wine, consultant, speaker, writer, and International Wine Challenge judge
Kathryn McWhirter: wine taster, author and translator – mainly about wine
Charles Metcalfe: wine taster, co-chair of the International Wine Challenge
The panel blind tasted nine champagne alternatives nominated by supermarkets
For the full results visit www.which.co.uk/sparkling
Prices correct as of 18th October 2018