Co-op’s own-brand champagne has been voted as the best bottle to buy this Christmas by Which? experts.

The Co-op Les Pionniers NV champagne, which sells for £19, scored joint first place with Mumm Cordon Rouge, which can cost up to £35, in a blind taste test by five distinguished champagne experts. 

Scoring 78 per cent in the tests, the bottle of fizz replaced last year’s winner from Waitrose as the best value deal for bubbly, with experts describing it as “elegant and well-balanced”.

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Narrowly missing out on a Which? Best Buy, Moët & Chandon’s Impérial Brut NV Champagne came in third with a score of 77 per cent. 

All of the experts agreed that it had a distinctive flavour and dry finish but found it slightly less sophisticated than the Co-op’s offering.

Overall, the experts said they were impressed with the standard of the champagne available for Christmas 2018, saying they were much fresher and livelier than those they’d tried in recent years. 

However, there were some bottles that the experts were disappointed by, including Spar’s “bland” £17.50 bottle of Marquis Belrive, which scored lowest in the tests. 

The cheapest supermarket champagnes which were tested for 2018 were sold by Lidl and Aldi, both priced at £12. 

Co-op Les Pionniers NV champagne, £19, Co-op

Which? said that in its tests Lidl’s Comte de Senneval Brut and Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny were “commendable but did not make it into the top flight”.

Following the results, the Co-op has revealed that it expects sales of its Les Pionniers NV champagne to soar by 300 per cent in the lead up to Christmas.

“Our own-brand champagne has once again proved to be one of the best on the market and it's brilliant to be recognised alongside many of the most revered brands,” said Ben Cahill, champagne buyer at Co-op.

Harry Rose, editor of Which? Magazine, added: “We're delighted to be raising a glass this Christmas to an excellent Best Buy champagne for less than £20, proving that you don't have to pay through the nose for delicious fizz.

Mumm Cordon Rouge - was £35, now £25, Waitrose

“Whether you are looking for an outstanding champagne at a great price or a well-known brand name, our expert choices have you covered.”

Earlier this year, a panel of experts at the International Wine and Spirits Competition voted Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, which costs just £10.99, a “silver outstanding” medal, making it one of the best bottles in the world. 

“In my honest opinion, the Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut is one of the very best, if not THE best value champagne in the UK today,” said Sam Caporn, wine expert at Aldi.

“It is staggering quality for such a reasonably priced, tasty, sophisticated fizz.”

This was the third international medal that the bestselling bottle received this year, despite its relatively inexpensive price.

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