Crémant sparkling wines
French crémants are always a good starting point when looking for the best sparkling wine for value options, and many can offer a convincing alternative to Champagne.
Our list below includes a ‘crowd pleasing and great value’ Crémant de Loire Blanc de Blancs, for £17.99 at Majestic (down to £14.99 when you mix six), made from 100% Chardonnay, and ‘a great alternative to an entry-level Champagne’ from a Crémant du Jura for £15.50 from the Wine Society.
Crémant de Limoux, from the Langeudoc in southern France, produces some good options below, including the Cuvée Royale Brut Crémant de Limoux NV from Waitrose which is ‘a great, affordable Champagne alternative’ – or the Tesco Finest Rosé option, which has ‘added complexity from extended lees ageing.’ Both are around £12.
The two Crémant de Bordeaux sparkling wines on the list offer incredible value, with a great aperitif option from Tesco for £10, and a £9 bottle from Marks & Spencer with ‘bright, breezy palate that shows more juicy apple, a bite of redcurrant acidity and creamy yeasty notes.’ Marks & Spencer also have a Crémant de Bourgogne for £10.
It’s not easy to find a Champagne at the £20 price point, but Lidl’s Comte de Senneval, Champagne 2014 manages it, a wine ‘all about crisp red apple and red berry fruit – vibrant, youthful and fresh.’
For other traditional-method sparkling wines that offer great value, it’s worth looking to Cava – the Juvé y Camps Reserva Familia NV listed below has ‘bready, citrus aromas with hints of honeyed peach and white blossom’ and is £14.99. Or the Roger Goulart, Gran Cuvée 2012 for a vintage cava, where ‘five years on lees adds complexity and a lovely honeyed note to the palate.’
Looking beyond France, Italy is home to many great sparkling wines – the most famous being Prosecco. As it’s popularity grew, there are many wines out there that do a disservice to the name, but our team have picked the ones to look for, including the Morrisons £7 option, ‘refreshing green apple, white blossom and lemon on the nose, crisp and frothy on the palate’. Or if you’re looking to spend more – but still below £20 – The Emissary, Prosecco, Asolo Superiore has ‘appley and ever so slightly nutty and creamy aromas followed by a rich vein of pear, apple and soft stone fruit flavours.’
The new category of Prosecco rosé DOC has also been approved recently and the first bottles hit the shelves in recent months. This category is one that Decanter’s Amy Wislocki recently called a ‘great success…Prosecco and rosé wine have been such a hit, separately, with consumers.’
Amy has tasted a range of the first bottles on offer in the UK, including the Ruggeri, Rosé Brut – ‘a restrained Prosecco rosé, and quite textured compared to most’ – and the Harvey Nichols Prosecco Rosé, which has ‘lively red berry and redcurrant, citrus and some cherry flavours, fragrant and juicy’.
You could always transport yourself to the Italian gastronomy heartland of Emilia-Romagna with a bottle of Lambrusco, such as Monte delle Vigne Lambrusco 2018, ‘a fine example made from 100% Lambrusco Maestri’ and great for pairing with food.
English sparkling wine
For fans of English sparkling wine, it can be harder to find examples around this price point – but Tesco’s Finest English Sparkling features ‘A pretty coral colour, the flavours are of mellow red berries and a hint of brioche’, and comes in at exactly £20.
For something a bit more off-beat, there’s the ‘Pét Not’ from London urban winery Vagabond, for £15.95. A ‘non-disgorged, traditional-fermented sparkling’, hence its name of “Pét-Not”… Fast, furious bubbles, quite yeasty and fresh, with a dry, crisp character.’
New world sparkling wine
Cool-climate New World wines are also ones to explore, as highlighted by Dirceu Vianna Junior MW who picked a selection of New World sparkling wines under £20, where often your money can go that bit further.
There’s an ‘extraordinary example of blanc de blancs, made with 100% Chardonnay that was hand-selected’ from Cape Beck for £16.99, or at a similar price point a ‘harmonious, complex and beautifully made’ sparkling wine from Wairau Valley, Marlborough.