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8 June 2020

Best champagne

Find out how champagne from leading supermarkets compares with Laurent-Perrier, Piper-Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot
Bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice next to two glasses of champagne
By Aaron West

Our expert panel taste tested champagnes from big brands for the December 2019 issue of Which? magazine. 

Laurent-Perrier, Piper-Heidsieck and Veuve Clicquot were blind tasted alongside supermarkets' own labels from Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, Tesco and more.

Best champagne

Only logged in Which? members can view the rest of our results and tasting notes in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the champagne on test. To get instant access join Which?.

Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut

£12.50 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

This mix of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier is described as being 'aged in cellars to enhance its complexity, elegance and length'. But will this make for a bargain Best Buy champagne? Join Which? to find out.

Asda Extra Special Louis Bernard Premier Cru Champagne 

£21 for 75cl, vegetarian

Said to be best with smoked salmon and light chicken dishes, Asda say this Champagne has 'creamy vanilla flavours with a smooth fruitiness'. Do our experts rate this champagne highly? Join Which? to find out.

Co-op Les Pionniers Champagne Brut

£19 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

This was last year’s top Best Buy. But champagnes change year-on-year with each harvest. Can it impress again? Join Which? to find out.

GH Mumm Cordon Rouge Champagne

£35 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Mumm is a big name in champagne, and this is chosen from 300 pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meunier base wines. Join Which? to find out if our experts rate it highly.

Heidsieck Monopole Blue Top Brut Champagne

£27 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

This 'slightly spicy' smelling champagne is a pale straw yellow colour with emerald accents – but what does it taste it like? Read what our expert tasting panel had to say. Join Which?.

Lanson Black Label Champagne Brut

£35 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Lanson was founded in 1760 making it one of the oldest champagne houses around. But does this history mean the bubbles taste any better? Join Which? to find out.

Lidl Comte de Senneval Brut Champagne

£11.50

The champagne brand claims that this cheap and cheerful champagne has an 'attractive mix of citrus and biscuity flavours' that leads to a 'clean, dry finish'. Join Which? to find out if our experts agree with this.

M&S Delacourt Brut Champagne

£25 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

M&S say this 'elegant fresh champagne' has 'flavours of brioche, vanilla and peach' and is perfect for smoked salmon or creamy chicken. Join Which? to find out if our experts agree with this.

Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne

£35 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Purveyors of Champagne, Moët & Chandon has been a long-standing and popular brand. If it's good enough for the Queen it must be great, right? Join Which? to find out what the experts say.

Morrisons The Best Premier Cru Champagne

£21 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Of the 319 villages allowed to grow champagne grapes only 42 of the best are classified as premier cru villages. That's why Morrisons claims this is 'noticeably richer and more elegant than standard blends'. Join Which? to find out if our experts rate as highly.

Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne

£33 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Piper-Heidsieck is one of champagne's most well-known and, according to itself, 'under-estimated' houses. But is it just over-estimating its quality? Join Which? to find out.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Blanc de Noirs Champagne

£21 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

This champagne is usually made purely from black pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes - hence 'blanc de noirs'. Sainsbury describes it as 'fresh and fruity with delicate hints of toasty biscuit, and appealing richness and balanced acidity'. Join Which? to hear what our experts had to say.

Spar Marquis Belrive Brut Reserve Champagne  NV

£18 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

'Hand selected by wine experts', this brut champagne from Spar is battling for a place in your fridge. Was this champagne one of our top scorers? Join Which? to find out.

Taittinger Brut Reserve Champagne

£35 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

One of the biggest names in champagne, Taittinger say this has 'a palate of considerable depth and balance with hints of honey and fresh fruit with a long, fresh finish'. Join Which? to find out if our experts agree.

Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne

£12 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Said to be best served with canapés and fish, Tesco claims this champagnes extra maturation makes for 'elegant favours'. But do our experts agree? Join Which? to find out.

Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Champagne

£35 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

'Only one quality, the finest' is the motto Veuve Clicquot. Calling its yellow-label offering a 'symbol of the house', Veuve Clicquot describes its taste as a 'perfect balance between power and finesse'.  It's one of the two priciest bottles we tasted – but does price mean quality? Join Which? to find out.

Waitrose & Partners Brut Champagne

£20 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

Waitrose describes its own-label champagne as 'round and fruity with a lovely toastiness'. Made from 90% pinot noir and 10% chardonnay, it can be yours for just £20. Join Which? to find out if it's worth it.

Note: Prices correct October 2019. All champagnes are non-vintage.

Best way to chill champagne

Once you've carefully selected your champagne, make sure to chill it to get the best out of it. 

Put your champagne in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before you plan to serve it. If you’re chilling lots of bottles at once, you’ll need longer. 

The classic way to chill and serve champagne is to place it in a container filled with ice and water – this works better than ice alone. 

If you've forgotten to chill it at all, you can pop the bottle into the freezer for 20 minutes as a last resort. Remember to set a timer or a reminder on your phone so that you don’t actually freeze it. 

Take it out 10 minutes before serving, as the taste and aroma will be stunted if the champagne is too cold.

How to taste and serve

Watch our video to find out what our experts are looking for in champagne, and get top tips for opening the bottle without wasting a drop.

Best prosecco and other fizz

Prosecco is a popular alternative to champagne, but there are plenty of other sparkling wines to choose from, such as cava, crémant and franciacorta.  

As well as taste testing champagnes, our experts also popped the corks of 12 bottles of sparkling wine, covering all the types above, ranging from £7.25 to £12. 

We uncovered three Best Buy sparkling wines that really impressed our experts. To find out which fizzes came out tops, head over to our best prosecco and sparkling wines.  

How we tested

Our wine experts tasted eight supermarket own-label and exclusive non-vintage (NV) champagnes, as well as seven top-selling big-name champagnes. 

All were brut (dry) and cost £35 or less. 

  • We disguised all of the bottles before they were chilled, and they were tasted by a panel of wine experts using International Standards Organisation (ISO) wine glasses. 
  • Each expert tried the wines in a different order. They then discussed their tasting notes, agreed on a score for each bottle and decided which ones deserved to be Best Buys. 
  • Our experts were looking for character, depth and complexity and, according to our panel, you should be able to taste ‘yeast and nuttiness’ in good champagne.

Our experts were: 

  • Charles Metcalfe wine taster and co-chair of the International Wine Challenge (IWC)
  • Helen McGinn International wine judge and award-winning author
  • Kathryn McWhirter wine taster, author and translator
  • Peter McCombie Master of Wine, speaker, consultant, co-chairman of the IWC
  • Sam Caporn Master of wine, wine consultant, speaker, writer and IWC judge