Our expert panel taste tested 18 champagnes from big brands and supermarkets for the December 2020 issue of Which? magazine, and they selected two Best Buys which stood out from the crowd.
Moët & Chandon, Lanson and Veuve Clicquot were blind tasted alongside supermarkets' own labels from Lidl, Aldi, Waitrose, Tesco and more.
Only 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, .
All of the prices in this guide are correct as of November 2020. Price and stock available may vary in the run up to Christmas.
Aldi Philizot et Fils Organic Champagne
£27 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian
The pricier of the two Aldi champagnes we tested promises a taste that captures 'the individuality of the year', and comes courtesy of husband and wife team Stéphane and Virginie Philizot. Log in now or to find out what our expert panel thought.
Aldi Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut
£13 for 75cl, vegetarian
This mix of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier is described as being 'aged in cellars to enhance its complexity, elegance and length'. It was the cheapest of the two Aldi champagnes we tasted. Log in now or to find out how it fared against its more expensive stable mate.
Asda Extra Special Louis Bernard Premier Cru Brut Champagne
£21 for 75cl, vegetarian
Asda say this champagne has 'creamy vanilla flavours with a smooth fruitiness'. It's said to be best paired with smoked salmon and light chicken dishes. Log in or to find out if it deserves to partner your favourite foods.
Asda Henri Cachet Brut Champagne
£13.50 for 75cl, vegetarian
Co-op Les Pionniers Brut Champagne
£19 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian
Lanson Black Label Champagne Brut
£33 for 75cl, vegetarian
Lidl Comte de Senneval Brut Champagne
£12.50 for 75cl, vegetarian
M&S Delacourt Brut Champagne
£20 for 75cl, vegetarian
M&S Louis Vertay Brut Champagne
Moët & Chandon Brut Imperial Champagne
£36 for 75cl, vegetarian and vegan
Moët & Chandon has heritage and some friends in high places (it's By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II Purveyors of Champagne). But did it get the royal seal of approval from our experts? Log in or to find out.
Morrisons Adrien Chopin Brut Champagne
£18 for 75cl, vegetarian
Described by Morrisons as a sophisticated and elegant champagne, with a soft creamy mousse and fruit filled palate, along with boasts that it's 'wonderfully rich'. Log in or to see if our wine experts agreed.
Morrisons The Best Brut 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'. Log in or to find out if it's worth paying that little bit more for.
Sainsbury's Landric Brut Champagne
£25 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian
A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier, which Sainsbury's claims has aromas of citrus, pear and apricot, with hints of hazelnut and buttery brioche. Log in or to find out what our experts thought.
Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Blanc de Noirs Brut Champagne
£21 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian
This champagne is usually made purely from black pinot noir and pinot meunier grapes - hence 'de noirs'. Sainsbury describes it as 'fresh and fruity with delicate hints of toasty biscuit, and appealing richness and balanced acidity'. Log in or to see how appealing it really is.
Tesco Finest Premier Cru Brut Champagne
£20 for 75cl, vegetarian
Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne
£40 for 75cl, vegetarian
'Only one quality, the finest' is the makers' motto. Veuve Clicquot describes the taste of its yellow label as a 'perfect balance between power and finesse'. It's one of the priciest bottles we tasted – but does price equal quality? Log in or to find out.
Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Champagne
£24 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian
Waitrose 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. Log in or to find out if it's worth it.
Note: Prices correct as of November 2020. All champagnes are non-vintage.
Best way to chill champagne
Once you've 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 you don’t actually freeze it.
Take the bottle 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.
Delicious dinner pairings
If the wines we tested don’t take your fancy, we asked our experts Charles Metcalfe and Kathryn McWhirter what grapes they would recommend for dinner pairings, so you can make your own match.
To go with turkey and trimmings, the top choice is Australian shiraz. It copes well with a varied plate (so long as you go easy on the cranberry sauce). If you prefer white wine, chablis makes a delicious pairing. For vegetarians, Quorn is more positively wine-friendly than soya-based protein, such as tofu and tempeh.
However, the wine match will depend on the flavours you add. Dry rosé is often a good partner for vegetarian food. For pescatarians choosing fresh salmon, it’s best to drink with white wine, as red wine tannins react very negatively with the oily fish – although very light pinot noirs from Alsace or the Loire Valley can cope.
With whites, there are some lovely matches, Portuguese alvarinho (or Spanish albarino) goes wonderfully, followed by dry muscat or Argentinean torrontes.
Our experts’ top recommendations for non-alcoholic options include kombucha (for its interesting fermented taste), sparkling water with a few drops of bitters, or ginger beer, the heat of which has an alcohol-like quality.
How we tested
Our wine experts tasted nine supermarket own-label and exclusive non-vintage (NV) champagnes, as well as three top-selling, big-name champagnes.
This year’s wine tasting was unlike any other we’ve done before. All the wines were anonymised and shipped out across the country, where three of our experts sipped from a garden, while the other two (and the Which? team) joined from home via video. All of the wines were brut (dry) and cost £36 or less at the time of testing.
- We disguised all of the bottles before they were chilled and they were tasted by a panel of wine experts.
- 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)
- Oz Clarke Wine writer, television presenter and broadcaster
- 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