If you're looking for a sparkling wine or champagne for a party here's my pick of what's available under £15 in ascending order of price. I've deliberately picked that figure rather than £10 as I haven't found a champagne I really rate under the £10 mark.
To repeat my usual caveat take ‘half price' and 'better than half price' offers with a pinch of salt and remember, in the case of champagne, even a £10 discount can still leave a bottle overpriced.
Asda Extra Special Vintage Cava on ‘rollback’ at £5 until January 3rd
Probably the cheapest drinkable fizz around this Christmas
Cava Brut Heretat El Padruell on offer at Marks & Spencer at £5.99 until December 25th
Much more personality than most cheap cava - attractively fruity rather than yeasty. A good party wine
Aldi Cremant de Jura £6.99
Very decent light, fragrant fizz in a super-smart bottle. A bargain.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Prosecco Conegliano on offer at £7.32 a bottle until 1/1/13.
Not amazing but a perfectly pleasant, clean-tasting prosecco that would be great for making cocktails.
Tesco Finest Vintage Cava Brut Nature 2010 565 stores (currently on offer at £7.49 until 1/1/13)
Unusual in that it’s almost totally dry (most fizz has an added sugar solution) so fresher and fruitier than most cavas
Cordoniu Seleccion Raventos (on offer at £7.99 at Majestic)
I much prefer Cordoniu's wines to fellow industry giant Freixenet's and this handsomely bottled smooth creamy cava is a great deal at the price. The only problem possibly being fitting the large unusually shaped bottles in the fridge if you're chilling several down. The basic Cordoniu brut (widely available at £6.99) is also good value.
La Corte del Pozzo Prosecco Brut 2010, Fasoli Gino £9.50 Adnams, £8.55 if you buy a case
Hurrah! A prosecco with personality. gently sparkling but with a deliciously honeyed flavour. (It's made from organic grapes) And I like the rather sexy-looking black bottle.
Jacob's Creek Trilogy Cuvée Brut on a 3 for the price of 2 offer at Ocado at £12.99 a bottle (which makes 3 bottles £8.66 each) Until 11/12. £9.99 Majestic
A surprisingly classy sparkler from Aussie giant Jacob’s Creek made from the classic champagne grape varieties. Better than many cheap champagnes.
Jansz rosé currently on offer at slurp.co.uk (£10.95), Fraziers Solihull (£11.99) and Hennings, Sussex (£12.25) and others - see wine-searcher.com
A delicious Tasmanian rosé which I rediscovered at the recent Dartmouth Food Festival where it was/is the house fizz at Brown's hotel. Really drinkable.
Heidsieck Blue Top Dry Monopole (£14.49 Tesco, £15 Asda)
This handsome looking bottle is one of the best big names you'll find round about this price. Full, toasty and rich - you know you're drinking the real thing.
Sainsbury’s Blanc de Noirs in magnum (down to £29.99 until 1/1/13 = £14.99 a bottle. Note the offer isn't as good on the 75cl size bottle)
A consistently good own-label champagne that totally over-delivers at this price - a richer, more full-bodied cousin of the supermarket’s lighter, more elegant but slightly pricier Blanc de Blancs (though this is now also on offer at £14.98 until 1/1/13) You could happily drink it with a meal.
Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne (on offer at £14.99 until 1/1/14).
Another reliable stalwart that keeps picking up awards. A lighter, more elegant style than the Blanc de Noirs - a good party champagne
Nicolas Feuillatte brut Grande Reserve (£14.99 Sainsbury's)
I must confess this hasn't been my favourite champagne house in the past but I haven't tasted this cuvée and you can't argue at the price. Tesco has a similar bottling at £14.99.
And for £15 . . .
Just topping the £15 mark, Piper Heidsieck Brut is currently on promotion at £15 at Asda, Sainsbury's has the perfectly decent Etienne Dumont brut for £15 and Duval Leroy's Fleur de Champagne, from the same house which makes Sainsbury's own label fizz is £15.99 at Waitrose.
PS Since I flagged up this post on Twitter a number of merchants and others have posted their own favourites. I haven't tasted them so can't recommend them personally but you might want to give them a go:
@winesonlyadrink "Victoria Sunnycliff brut - one of the best cheap party fizzes I've tasted"
@rieslingnut "Mas Macia brut nature cava from fermi bohigas. 24 months on lees, zero dosage. Target price £10-£11"
@The_Haciendas "We love the Mas de Monistrol Vintage Brut and Rose. Both at £13.99"
@Chris_Giles "Undarraga Rose, a bit of a Majestic bargain at £5.99."
@KieronGailliard "How about a Blanquette - classy and refreshingly different! http://bit.ly/TH6xL1"
@staffanahlgren "Camille Braun Crémant d'Alsace"
@gastrolad "lindauer brut nv usually goes down well" (I agree though prefer the rosé)
@m2comms "Sainsburys TTD Pinot Rosé & also their Marques de Montoya Vintage Cava Rosé (but which has the WORST label/bottle ever!)"
@vivinowines "Cava Marrugat is great for parties http://ow.ly/fOz9z Brut, but not overly dry"
@TonyRodgers70 "How about Txakoli? A little unconventional but bone dry is good at this time of year, what with rich foods etc"
@koyahPR "J&L Charlemagne 1921 http://bit.ly/Vx0k5U is a delicious sparkling wine and great value at £14.50"
@tenacrewines "Ahem - http://ten-acre.com/wines/prosecco-di-valdobbiadene-frizzante-val-mesdi-frozza-nv/ … "
@portovinowines "there's our 2006 Quinta Romiera , Methode Champenoise from Bucelas. £15 a bottle . Stunning value. http://Portovino.co.uk "
Image ©Kesu - Fotolia.com
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