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19 November 2020

Best champagne

Find out how champagne from leading supermarkets compare with Moët & Chandon, Lanson and Veuve Clicquot
Bottle of champagne in a bucket of ice next to two glasses of champagne
JM
Jake Massey

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.

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?.

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 join Which? to find out what our expert panel thought.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Aldi

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 join Which? to find out how it fared against its more expensive stable mate. 

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Aldi

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 join Which? to find out if it deserves to partner your favourite foods.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Asda

Asda Henri Cachet Brut Champagne

£13.50 for 75cl, vegetarian

Asda's 'fruity, crisp tipple' comes at a price low enough to tempt any budget-conscious shopper.  Join Which? to find out if its price presents us with a merry bargain.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Asda

Co-op Les Pionniers Brut Champagne 

£19 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

This was 2018's top Which? Best Buy. But champagnes change year on year with each harvest. Did it impress again? Log in or join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Co-op

Lanson Black Label Champagne Brut

£33 for 75cl, 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? Log in or join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Asda, Sainsbury's and Waitrose

Lidl Comte de Senneval Brut Champagne

£12.50 for 75cl, vegetarian

The maker claims that this cheap and cheerful champagne has an 'attractive mix of citrus and biscuity flavours' that leads to a 'clean, dry finish'. Log in or join Which? to find out if our experts agreed.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Lidl

M&S Delacourt Brut Champagne

£20 for 75cl, vegetarian

M&S says this 'elegant, fresh champagne' has 'flavours of brioche, vanilla and peach', and is perfect for smoked salmon or creamy chicken. But how perfect is it? Log in or join Which? to see.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from M&S

M&S Louis Vertay Brut Champagne

£17 for 75cl, vegetarian

The cheaper of the two M&S champagnes we tested is described as 'elegant, fruity and harmonious with flavours of peaches, red berries, a floral hint and soft creamy mousse'. It's a blend of pinot noirs, pinot meunier, and chardonnay. Log in or join Which? to see how it compared with the M&S Delacourt Brut champagne we also tested.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from M&S

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 join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Asda, Morrrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose

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 join Which? to see if our wine experts agreed.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Morrisons

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 join Which? to find out if it's worth paying that little bit more for.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Morrisons

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 join Which? to find out what our experts thought. 

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Sainsbury's

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 join Which? to see how appealing it really is.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Sainsbury's

Tesco Finest Premier Cru Brut Champagne

£20 for 75cl, vegetarian

Tesco claims that this champagne's extra maturation makes for 'elegant favours', and it's best served with canapes and fish. Is it chi-chi enough for your soiree? Log in or join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Tesco

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 join Which? to find out.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Morrisons, Sainsbury's and Tesco

Waitrose Blanc de Noirs Champagne

£24 for 75cl, vegan and vegetarian

'Full, rich and fruity' according to Waitrose, it's the pricier of the two Waitrose champagnes we've tested. Log in or join Which? to find out if it's worth the price tag.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Waitrose

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 join Which? to find out if it's worth it.

Want to buy without reading our results? Available from Waitrose

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.

Find out how to buy the best wine cooler with our expert guide.

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.

Find out which champagne preservers our experts recommend with our guide, champagne, prosecco and sparkling wine preservers compared.

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
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