If you’re shopping for Christmas dinner ingredients at the supermarket this year and you want to combine it with your wine purchasing in one fell swoop, we’ve got recommendations for the best value sparkling wines you should be looking out for.
Champagne, Prosecco and Cava are staples in most supermarkets, however many of the multiple retailers also offer a wide variety of interesting, value alternatives that make for a good introduction to other styles of sparkling wine.
Waitrose, for example, offers great diversity on the sparkling wine front, with a range that spans the classics to more niche and up-and-coming styles from further afield. Take for instance the Graham Beck NV Brut from South Africa, or the Bird in Hand sparkling from South Australia, which is bursting with juicy and fresh red cherry and strawberry fruit.
Scroll down for a round-up of top supermarket sparkling for Christmas
Most supermarkets will have an own-label Champagne, produced on a large scale and thus available at a lower price point, and we’ve shown our favourites in the list below.
They will also stock some of the well-known Champagne houses. These, though often still produced in large quantities, may offer more consistency and complexity than own-brand wines, therefore it could be worth trading up to a more recognisable name if you are set on buying Champagne this year.
That being said, at £26 the Tesco own-brand Grand Cru Blanc de Blancs 2015 is an elegant and well-balanced Champagne for your money, with crusty bread, bruised apples, lemons and limes to the fore.
Alternatively if you are looking to splash out this year, some top Champagne houses available in supermarkets are:
- Gosset, Grande Réserve Brut, NV – Waitrose, £50
- Veuve Clicquot, Brut, 2012– Tesco, £52
- Laurent Perrier, Cuvée Rosé, NV – Sainsbury’s £62
- Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage, 2012 – Morrisons £49
Cava has a winning formula: prices remain fairly low; most independent merchants and supermarkets will stock some; they’re food-friendly and made in the same method as Champagne; and the best display complex toasty flavours.
Festive food tends to be high in fat and salt and intense in flavour, so when pairing sparkling wine be aware that you will need to match the intensity of flavour and provide enough acidity and freshness to cut through the richness of the food.
French Crémant is therefore a good choice, as it’s a versatile, gastronomic sparkling, a number of which have made it onto the list below.
Morrisons stocks a 90-point Crémant de Loire which, at just £12, is a must-buy. Made from 70% Chenin Blanc and 30% Chardonnay, it has candied pear, a hint of flint and honeyed depth on the palate, making for an effective off-beat pairing with your Christmas salmon or even cheese board.
Some Prosecco makes the list below, unsurpringly, because almost every supermarket stocks either an own-label one or a branded alternative, or both. Marks & Spencer stocks seven Proseccos, but the driest and most characterful is the Colle del Principe, Organic Brut Prosecco, Veneto, Italy NV.
Despite, or perhaps because of, its simplicity, the UK’s love affair with Prosecco continues. With its pear and elderflower-driven flavours, the Italian bubbles are unlikely to stand up well to heavy Christmas fare, but they could make for a good aperitif at a festive drinks party.
As the results of the Decanter World Wine Awards 2021 showed, English wine continues to impress, bringing home one Best in Show, two Platinum and seven Gold medals at this year’s competition, all scoring 95 points or above.
Of the UK supermarkets, Waitrose is unrivalled in its offering of English fizz. Winning runner up for England & Wales Specialist Retailer of the Year in the 2021 Decanter Retailer Awards, the supermarket boasts more than 40 English sparkling wines in its portfolio.
While prices can be on the high side, we continue to see ever more classy, quality sparklings being produced from both the more established names and the fledgling estates.
Add a bit more glamour to festivities with the Nyetimber Rosé Brut from West Sussex, England, available for £42 from Waitrose. For a less expensive option, try the Denbies, Broadwood’s Folly Rosé Brut, NV, available for £14.99 from Lidl. While it’s on the sweeter end of the spectrum, it still shows red berry fruit and a mellow appeal.