Nothing marks a special occasion quite like a glass of bubbly. Whether you are looking to kick back and enjoy a boozy brunch with friends, looking for the perfect way to celebrate an occasion or simply looking to take an evening off for yourself, you want to make sure the champagne you get is of good quality and value.
Champagne does not need to be expensive either, with many supermarkets offering bottles for under £20. We have picked out the best value champagnes from Aldi, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Ocado and Waitrose so you can pop a glass of bubbly guilt-free.
What types of food go well with champagne?
Champagne is lovely when paired with dishes like smoked salmon, canapes, battered fish, rich meat pates, creamy-light poultry-based dishes or fruit desserts.
How to store and serve champagne
Champagne is best when served between 8-10ºC in champagne flute glasses, as the shape helps emphasise the bubbles. If you do not finish your bubbly in one sitting, you can use a champagne bottle stopper to keep it fizzy. Another classic hack is to use a teaspoon suspended in the mouth of your champagne bottle and place it in the fridge. The metal of the spoon makes the neck of the bottle colder, which in turn creates a cold air plug above the warmer champagne.
Types of Champagne
NV - Non-vintage: Non-vintage champagne is the most common that consists of a blend of wines made in different years. This champagne is best consumed within three to five years of bottling. Non-vintage usually have a consistent taste and are made in a “house style” that will taste the same every year.
V - Vintage: Vintage champagne does not mean that it is old but rather made from grapes of only one year’s harvest compared to non-vintage champagne is a blend of different years’ harvest. Vintage champagnes can then be aged for over ten years after bottling.
Grape varieties - Blanc de Blancs vs blanc de noirs
Champagne can only be called champagne if it comes from the Champagne region in France, and is produced from three types of grapes. Pinot noir (a black grape) and Pinot Meunier (a black grape), and Chardonnay (a white grape).
If you see champagne titles with Blanc de Blancs, then it means that the champagne is made from white champagne grapes. These types of champagne have lighter, floral citrus notes. Blanc de noir champagnes are made from dark grapes of the pinot noir and pinot Meunier variety. This type of champagne has a richer, more full-bodied flavour profile and some red berry undertones.
Best value for taste
This bubbly and fruity champagne is made solely with Pinot Noir grapes and has crisp and refreshing notes.
Flavours of refreshing apple, tropical fruit, vanilla and marmalade.
Serving suggestions: It is best paired with a fish-based starter or canapés.
Review: "There is a great depth and roundness to this champagne. A big personality and lingers in the mouth."
Best with smoked salmon brunches
This dry champagne made from Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grape varieties has a sweet and fruity taste.
Flavours of zingy lemon and sweet red apple.
Serving suggestions: Serve chilled to accompany red fruit desserts.
Review: "Received as a substitute to one of my favourite brands. I was disappointed at first. Upon drinking was rather pleased. Lovely champagne at a great price. I would definitely buy it again."
Best budget champagne
The Veuve Monsigny Champagne from Aldi is dry, crisp and zingy with floral and fruit notes.
The flavour notes consist of delicate fresh lemon, ripe green apple, red fruit and elderflower.
Serving suggestions: Pairs nicely with tempura and lightly fried foods.
Review: “Light, refreshing, just the right amount of sharpness. Favourable comments from all. I would buy it again. Tasted better than many champagnes twice the price.”
Best rich tasting champagne
This champagne made with a blend of premium Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes is rich and aromatic with a lovely fizzy finish.
Flavours of fresh peach, lemon, floral aromas and buttered toast.
Serving suggestions: A perfect companion to smoked salmon.
Review: "I ordered this champagne as it had a good review. Most champagnes are too dry; however, after reading the reviews, I ordered this for Christmas day. It was really lovely and fresh. I would buy this again definitely."
Best with battered fish
The Best Brut Premier Cru Champagne from Morrisons has flavours of tart green apple balanced by a toasty richness.
Flavours of sweet citrus, apricot and apple crumble aromas.
Serving suggestions: Pair with fish such as smoked salmon or fish and chips.
Best classic champagne for celebrations
In 2019, Moët & Chandon celebrated their 150th anniversary and are among the most famous champagne brands on the market. This champagne has hints of white fruits such as pear, peach, apple. It is produced with a variety of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier grapes.
Fruit flavours with notes of green apple, white flowers, white-fleshed fruits, citrus and gooseberry nuances.
Serving suggestions: A good paring with pate, blue cheeses, and desserts based on peaches, dried fruits or mixed nuts.
Review: "I am a massive champagne drinker and have been drinking champagne for 40 years and apart from Crystal and DP, Moet Chandon and the Moet Chandon Rose is still to this day consistent, unlike other more expensive champagnes."
Best with canapes
This crisp and dry, well-balanced champagne is made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Flavours of citrus, green apple, brioche, vanilla and quince.
Serving suggestions: This champagne would be a perfect match with canapes.
Review: “Brilliant champagne as good as any branded one.”
Best with appetisers
Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne is made with a blend of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. This renowned 'Clicquot Yellow' label is recognised throughout the world.
Flavours of white fruits, fruity aromas, raisins, brioche and vanilla.
Serving suggestions: Veuve Clicquot reccomends paring the yellow label champagne with melon, blinis, duck and parma ham.
Review: "My go-to Champagne. Delicious and flavour consistency."
Best premium champagne with meat pâtés
This soft, fresh and mellow champagne has a delicate creamy taste combined with ripe fruit flavours. It is made with a variety of grapes - Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay.
Flavours of ripe fruit and floral notes
Serving suggestions: Pair with rich meat pâtés such as foie gras and rustic bread or fruit-based desserts and ice creams.
Review: “No matter what the occasion, this champagne turns every occasion into a celebration. A real treat!!”