Supermarkets’ own-brand champagne beats French houses in Which? test

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An £18 own-brand champagne from Morrisons has claimed top place in an annual champagne taste test, beating competition from premium champagne houses, including Moët & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot and Lanson.

The supermarket’s Adrien Chopin Brut champagne was awarded the highest score of 82% in blind tasting of supermarket own-label and popular champagne brands, priced up to £36, by a panel of wine experts for the consumer group Which?. The experts were won over by the Morrisons’ bubbly, describing it as “golden champagne with stewed apple aromas, rich flavours and a hint of sweetness”.

The runner-up was another supermarket champagne, Waitrose’s Brut. Costing £19.99. It was described by the experts as an ideal party fizz, with notes of “ripe red apples and apple blossom”.

View image in fullscreenAdrien Chopin Brut came top with an 82% score. Photograph: Morrisons

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Both the Morrisons and the Waitrose fizzes scooped a Which? “best buy” award in time for the festive season. Their offerings knocked Moët & Chandon’s Imperial Brut champagne into joint third place, despite it costing £36 – double the price of the winner.

Imperial Brut, the only bottle from a well known champagne house to make it into the top four, was described by the experts as a pleasure to drink, although one found it a “little bland”. The Moët & Chandon champagne received the same score as Landric Champagne Brut from Sainsbury’s, priced at £25, which just missed out on “best buy” status.

Own-brand or exclusive champagnes from supermarkets dominated in this year’s taste test. Champagnes from Lidl, Aldi and Marks & Spencer ranked more highly than those from some of France’s best-known producers, such as Veuve Clicquot and Lanson.

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Harry Rose, editor of Which? magazine, said consumers would be able to pop a cork this festive season for less than £20. “Your Christmas might be a bit more low key this year, but there is no reason to scrimp on the bubbly,” he said.

At the bottom of the table was a champagne from the discounter Aldi, with its Philizot & Fils organic champagne, which costs £27, described by one panellist as “wishy washy”.