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Need a last-minute gift for a friend or family member? A nice bottle of something special can be a crowd-pleaser.
If you have friends or family who are partial to the occasional tipple, we’ve rounded up the best bottles of booze to buy as presents.
Whether you want to bring the sparkle with some festive fizz, or treat someone to a vintage Port wine, we’ve picked out some affordable or widely-available favourites from our tests to help you choose in a hurry.
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A glass of fizz is a sure sign of a special occasion, and our festive taste tests uncovered some supermarket own-brand bottles that will delight recipients without breaking the bank.
We asked supermarkets to nominate their best festive champagnes, and asked a panel of wine experts to blind-taste each one to find the best. These are our favourite champagnes for gifting this Christmas:
Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Brut NV Champagne (£24 for 75cl)
Made exclusively for Waitrose and described as ‘rich & fruity’, this zesty and smooth Blanc de Noirs champagne by Waitrose is a great option to celebrate the festive season. It’s pricey compared to some supermarket bottles, but cheaper than a lot of branded options.
Available from Waitrose.
Co-op Les Pionniers Non-Vintage Champagne (£19 for 75cl)
This Les Pionniers champagne by the Co-op is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s perfect for a more savoury and rich flavour, and comes in just under £20.
Available from Co-op.
Other top contenders
Alongside Waitrose and Co-op, these supermarket bottles also impressed our experts, sharing the joint top spot in our tests:
- Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne (£21) – Available from Tesco.
- M&S Champagne Delacourt Brut NV (£20) – Available from Ocado.
Best Value bottle: Lidl Veuve Delattre Champagne Brut NV (£12 for 75cl)
If you’re looking for a quality bottle of fizz on a budget, opt for Lidl’s brilliant Veuve DeLattre champagne, this year’s Great Value pick.
It boasts a fresh and fruity yet acidic taste that impressed our experts, despite being half the price of many a rival.
Available from Lidl.
See our best champagne guide for the full reviews for all 19 supermarket champagnes
Best sparkling wines
For friends or family who aren’t so keen on champagne but still like a glass of something bubbly, a quality bottle of sparkling wine could be the way to go.
We tasked our panel of four wine experts with blind-tasting 10 supermarket sparkling wines, including Cava, Crémant and Prosecco.
These are our favourites for gifting:
Asda Marques Del Norte Cava Brut (£7 for 75cl)
Asda describes this bubbly as ‘fresh with crisp apple flavours’, and our experts loved the soft creaminess with this label.
Plus, at just £7, this Marques Del Norte Cava is a great value pick.
Available from Asda.
Morrisons The Best Crémant De Limoux (£10 for 75cl)
If you want something a little more luxurious, this Crémant de Limoux is a great gift contender. With dessert-like notes reminiscent of apple crumble and lemon curd, it’s ideal if your recipient has a sweet-tooth.
Available from Morrisons.
Not your nearest supermarket? See our best prosecco and sparkling wines guide to see the full results from this year’s taste tests
If you want to branch out from the usual bottle, port makes an excellent festive gift, perfect for savouring on a chilly winter’s night.
We had wine expert Charles Metcalfe blind-taste and rate 30 ports from a range of brands and supermarkets, all priced at £20 or under, to find the bottles that are really worth buying.
Our pick below is widely available and something a little bit special:
Taylor’s Late Bottled Vintage Port (2016) (£15 for 75cl)
Perfect to impress the port-lover in your life, this Taylor’s late-bottled vintage label has complex notes of blackberry and cedar, and was rated highly by our expert.
Usually retailing at around £15, most supermarkets are now putting this star choice on offer for the festive season, so there’s no better time to buy. It’s also widely available, which is handy if you want to avoid too many supermarket trips.
See our best port wines guide to see our other top choices for ruby, tawny and reserve ports, including some great value supermarket options
Christmas food to buy
Need to pick up some last minute festive treats?
We’ve got the inside track on the best supermarket mince pies, as well as a review of alternative christmas puddings, and a big round-up of supermarket festive food offerings to help you plan your shop.
How we test wine
We asked supermarkets to put their best champagnes, sparkling wines and red wines for winter forward, with everything from own-brand to exclusive labels being blind-tasted by our panel of four independent wine experts.
Our experts were:
- Kathryn McWhirter – Wine expert and co-author (with Charles Metcalfe) of The Wine and Food Lover’s Guide to Portugal
- Charles Metcalfe – Speaker, author and co-founder of the International Wine Challenge
- Sumita Sarma – Wine writer and founder of wine consultancy Sumilier
- Peter McCombie – Master of Wine, restaurant wine consultant, speaker, writer and critic
Best red wine – discover the best supermarket reds to warm you up this winter