Save money on this year's bubblyCan you tell champagne and sparkling wine apart?

27 November 2010

Is there really a difference in taste between champagne and sparkling wine? Our snapshot test reveals a surprising result.

Champagne glasses

We pitted the winner of last year's Which? champagne taste test - Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label - against a sparkling wine recommended by one of our wine experts to see whether people could spot the difference. 

Surprisingly 40% of our 23 testers preferred the £12.99 sparkling wine to the £33.49 champagne, and the same number actually thought the sparkling wine was champagne.

So maybe you could get away with buying a cheaper bottle of sparkling wine for your Christmas party after all. 

Quality sparkling

Sparkling wines are getting better and better, as our test shows, but be sure to pick a good one. To fool our testers, we chose a Jansz Premium NV sparkling wine, available at Oddbins for £12.99.

This excellent alternative to champagne is great for parties thanks to the gentler acidity that makes it a bit easier on the stomach. Our wine expert also recommended Hunter's Miru Miru, £13.45 from Jeroboam's.

Go here to see the results of this year's champagne taste test, which also includes a behind-the-scenes video of what our tasters look for and a nice dessert recipe from the Good Food Guide: Recipes book to serve alongside your fizz. 

More from Which? Home and Garden...