Posted on 28.11.19 Wine of the Week

#WOTW: why Tesco is Top of the Pops for festive Champagne

Now is the time to stock up on festive bangers. Most people apparently rush down to the supermarket to buy their sparklers the weekend before Christmas, but it’s a much better idea to do it now, when the promotions are better, and this particular offer expires at close of play on Monday, so hurry!

The supermarkets do a great job with own label Champagne (I mean the ones that they actually put their name to, not the spurious tertiary brand names that appear, then disappear again, and are normally cheaper but also disappointing). Tesco is relatively unusual in telling us who makes the wines for its ‘Finest’ range, which is a good thing.  I am a huge fan of their Champagne supplier, the growers co-operative ‘Union’, which makes the own label Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne (normally £20, but currently £15 pounds if you buy six before the 2nd of December).

Made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, it tastes like the former is dominant in the blend, with its elegant nose, surprising complexity and delicious biscuity character.  A perfect partner for aperitif nibbles, or smoked salmon on Christmas Day itself, it is excellent value.

It’s also worth mentioning its bigger sister, Tesco Finest Grand Cru Vintage Blanc de Blancs 2012 Champagne (usually £26, but £19.50 in the same promotion) which I featured on the radio last Sunday. Exclusively Chardonnay, it’s a few notches up in quality, with more structure, and an equally appealing price tag.

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