By Sarah Ingrams
Which budget fizz has the most taste and class? Find out in our prosecco taste test.
Prosecco can be a delicious, great-value alternative to Champagne. Check out our taste-test results and discover which supermarket has a Best Buy prosecco.
Prosecco sales have soared over the past few years, making it the nation's favourite bubbly. It can be a great alternative to Champagne, especially if you're on a budget. In the table below, we reveal our highest-scoring fizz from our expert taste test and some great deals for under a tenner.
You can also read our experts' tasting notes, which include bottles from all the supermarkets, to find out which fizz came out top. You might be surprised by the results.
Which? members can log in to unlock the results in the table below. Logged-out readers will see an alphabetical list of all the bottles we tested, below.
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Table notes: Prices correct at time of publication in November 2016
Though prosecco has proved immensely popular, if you’re looking for a fizz to pair with Christmas pudding, our experts recommend asti or moscato. These sweet wines will complement the sweetness of the pudding.
For drinks to match with hearty winter food, take a look at our experts’ recommendations for red wines for drinking in winter. We’ve included bottles from 10 supermarkets, some costing under £6.And if you're looking for luxury on Christmas Day, we’ve tested Champagnes from all the top supermarkets alongside some famous brands. To see which three Best Buy bottles you should be putting on your shopping list, see our Champagne reviews.
How much sugar does sparkling wine contain?
Strict rules govern how sparkling wine and Champagne can be described when it comes to dryness and sweetness, with labels determined according to the residual sugar content per litre. Unsurprisingly, this can have a dramatic effect on the taste, so it's worth knowing your brut from your doux…
Champagne, cava or prosecco?
Champagne can only be made in a specified region of north-east France, and almost always from a blend of three grapes: pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier. The bubbles come from a second small alcoholic fermentation carried out inside the bottle. The CO2 formed can’t escape and thus dissolves into the wine – so when the bottle is opened, the wine sparkles. Most Champagne is dry and best served after an hour in the fridge.
Cava, from Spain, is made in the same way as Champagne, usually from three Catalan grapes: macabeo, xarel-lo and parellada. These days, some of the large cava producers have started to use chardonnay and pinot noir as well.
The grapes mostly come from near Barcelona, much further towards the sunny south than the Champagne region. They ripen more, so cava is lower in acidity than Champagne (and considerably cheaper).
Prosecco is from the Veneto region of north-east Italy and is made from the glera grape. For prosecco, the second fizz-creating fermentation is usually carried out in large pressurised tanks, not inside the bottle. Almost all prosecco is a little sweeter than Champagne and cava.
Some of the top prosecco comes from the small towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, and will cost a little more but, generally, prosecco is similarly priced to cava and cheaper than Champagne.
Sparkling wines from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, England and other countries are also made from chardonnay and pinot noir (and sometimes other grapes), with the second fermentation in the bottle. These can be very good and often great value.