Non-vintage Champagne accounts for nearly 80% of production, and it’s these Champagnes that line the shelves of wine merchants and supermarkets.
Although the category offers plenty of sub-£30 value, the best non-vintage Champagnes can command a hefty premium.
What is non-vintage Champagne?
Every year, producers hold back a proportion of wine to maintain their stocks of reserve wines.
Non-vintage (or ‘NV’) Champagnes are made by blending some of these reserve wines with wines from the most recent harvest, enabling subtle fine-tuning to achieve a ‘house style’ that reflects the philosophy of the producer.
Scroll down for our roundup of the best non-vintage Champagnes you can buy
Buying Champagne from supermarkets
Supermarket shelves are dominated by the most famous Champagne brands who have the volume suitable for large-scale retailers – among them Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, Laurent-Perrier, Taittinger and Bollinger – as well as own-brand Champagnes sourced from co-operatives and growers.
Own-brand Champagnes are rarely the last word in quality as they are made with a very competitive price-point in mind. The worst examples are, honestly, a waste of your cash, but the better examples offer genuine value for money. We have included some of our favourite supermarket own-brand examples in the list below.
Buying Champagne from wine merchants and online specialists
Venture into an independent wine merchant or visit an online specialist’s website and you’ll find much more strength in these offerings compared to the supermarkets.
Independents and small chains have smaller customer bases, enabling them to stock Champagnes from lower-volume producers, many of whom create terroir-driven examples that contrast with the blended approach of the big houses.
The best non-vintage Champagnes to buy:
Champagne: The facts
382 million bottles of Champagne produced
301.9 million bottles sold, of which 51.3% exported
Non-vintage Champagnes account for 79.3% of total sales by volume
The UK and USA are Champagne’s largest export markets
Source: The Comité Champagne (https://www.champagne.fr/) – 2018 harvest