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Best prosecco, cava and other affordable bubbles for your Christmas celebrations

Tesco and Asda revealed as the top picks for the party season alongside a well-known fizz brand

Best prosecco, cava and other affordable bubbles for your Christmas celebrations

Tesco Finest Prosecco Brut has topped the Which? Christmas taste test of sparkling wines and it costs just £8.

It was one of three sparkling wines deemed good enough to be named Which? Best Buys. The other two were Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava (£11) and Asda’s Extra Special Selection Crémant de Loire Brut (£8), which came in second and third place respectively.

We also tested special-occasion sparkling white wines from Aldi, Lidl, M&S, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, as well as other retailers.

All the fizz was blind-tasted and assessed by a panel of wine experts – any brand labelling was completely hidden.

See how the sparkling wine from your favourite supermarket was rated: The best prosecco and sparkling wines for 2019.

Top three sparkling wines for Christmas

Our top trio includes wines from Spain, France and Italy, proving that prosecco doesn’t always have to be your affordable festive tipple.

Tesco Finest Prosecco Brut (76%, £8 for 75cl)

  • Vegetarian and vegan

Our panel of experts all enjoyed this light, simple fizz – the general consensus was that it’s a clean, classic prosecco.

Along with fruity and floral notes, some of our panel noted a slight buttery twist and they recommended it as perfect for serving with Gruyere cheese, smoked salmon or fruit salad.

At just £8, it’s the third-cheapest sparkling wine we tested, so a good option if you’re hosting guests over the festive season – or just if you like to bag a bargain.

Freixenet Cordon Negro Cava (75%, £11 for 75cl)

Our panel was overall very impressed by this savoury Spanish fizz, with its notable earthy tone and distinct bready notes.

Some of our experts detected underlying fruity flavours too, mainly lemon. They also noted a touch of jasmine.

This fizz is versatile enough that it should go with most dishes, but it’s especially worth trying it with grilled fish or spicy canapes.

At £11, it’s the second-most expensive sparkling wine we tested, but still very reasonable if you’re looking to impress this festive season.

Asda Extra Special Selection Crémant de Loire Brut (74%, £8 for 75cl)

This characterful French fizz was a real panel-pleaser, and guaranteed to get your guests asking for a top-up – so it’s a good job it only costs £8 per bottle.

While some of our experts noted crisp lemon flavours, others thought it was very sweet, almost like honeysuckle, with zesty undertones.

One of our panel, who wasn’t completely won over, suggested using this sparkling wine for mixing party favourites such as Bucks Fizz or Kir Royale.

If you really want to push the boat out this Christmas, take a look at the Best Buy champagnes we found in our festive taste tests.

Three ways to get the most from your Xmas fizz

1. Let it sit for a while

Decanting can help to bring out the flavours hidden by the bubbles in your fizz, but you needn’t faff with a carafe.

Pouring your champagne into a glass a minute or two before you plan on drinking it should do the trick just as well, as this will allow the bubbles to settle enough without letting them disappear completely.

2. Keep it chilled

To get the best out of your sparkling wine, pop it into the fridge at least a couple of hours before you plan on serving it. You’ll need to allow more time if you’re chilling multiple bottles at once.

When it comes to serving, fill a container with ice and water and place your sparkling wine in there. If you’re the forgetful type, as a last resort you can pop the bottle into the freezer for around 20 minutes – just remember to set a timer to take it back out!

You should take your sparkling wine out around 10 minutes before serving, as the taste and aroma will be affected if it’s too cold.

3. Learn to pour with style

Our panel of wine experts also shared some tips on how best to pour your fizz, especially if you’re planning on hosting (or attending) a party this festive season.

  • Just before your party guests arrive, pour a little bit of sparkling wine in the bottom of each glass, as this will stop it frothing over when you come to serve it.
  • When you’re getting a refill, don’t lift your glass too high, as this makes it more difficult for your host to pour. Tilting it slightly also helps, and you’re likely to end up with more fizz in your glass.
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