Looking for bubbles to make your New Year’s Eve party go with a bang? Our panel of wine experts sipped 170 glasses of wine and fizz to find the three best champagnes to suit every budget, and the three best special occasion sparkling whites (including a prosecco), two of which will set you back less than £10.
Below are our top three champagnes and our top three sparkling wines.
See the full round ups:
Top three champagnes for Christmas 2019
Laurent-Perrier, Piper-Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot were blind tasted by our experts alongside supermarkets’ own labels from Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, Tesco and more. These came out top:
1. Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne, 81%
- £33 for 75cl, vegetarian/vegan
Our experts agreed that this Piper-Heidsieck will satisfy from the first sip to the last, thanks to its clean yet rich taste. They said it’s a proper ‘serious’ champers for those who want the best.
They noted its aged, savoury ‘umami’ edge and a smorgasbord of citrus fruits underneath, and described it as more decadent than our other top scorer, the Veuve Clicquot.
2. Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne, 81%
- £35 for 75cl, vegetarian/vegan
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label is a fresh, fruity and slightly malty champagne and totally different to the Piper-Heidsieck.
It’s one of the priciest bottles of champers our experts tasted, but they agreed that it’s worth splashing out on.
Easy-going and elegant, its long, delicious finish will have you going back for more.
3. Waitrose & Partners Champagne Brut, 80%
- £19.99 for 75cl, vegetarian/vegan
Our cheapest Best Buy champagne. It had an aroma of buttery, baked pastries, and tasted fresh and lively – almost reminiscent of cream soda – with fruity hints.
It also had an elegant, well-balanced and lengthy finish that made it wonderfully moreish.
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/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 canapés.
It’s the most expensive of our recommended sparkling wines but look out for Christmas offers currently bringing the price to around £8 or less
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 buck’s fizz or kir royale.
Prices correct at time of writing.