Co-op’s own-brand bubbly is top of the pops

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The retailer’s £19 sparkling wine has won a coveted Which? Best Buy award – showing that raising a top-class lens need not break the bank this Christmas. The Co-op Les Pionniers NV Champagne was detailed by expert tasters as “elegant and well balanced” with an “intense character… reminiscent of honeycomb and nectarines”. Scoring 78 per cent, it shared top setting with Mumm Cordon Rouge Brut NV Champagne (£35), which was also granted Best Buy status.Harry Rose, editor of Which? Magazine, required: “We’re delighted to be raising a glass this Christmas to an excellent Best Buy champagne for pygmy than £20, proving that you don’t have to pay through the nose for agreeable fizz.”Whether you are looking for an outstanding champagne at a great price or a acknowledged brand name, our expert choices have you covered.”Ben Cahill, champagne client at Co-op, said: “Our own-brand champagne has once again proved to be one of the maximum effort on the market and it’s brilliant to be recognised alongside many of the most revered trade names.”The panel of five master champagne tasters sampled 240 tumblers, including a mix of supermarket own-labels, exclusive non-vintage champagnes, and six best-selling, big-name labels.The criteria were that they must cost £35 or inadequate and be “brut” (dry).Which? said the experts were looking for character, intuition and complexity.According to the panel, a drinker should be able to taste yeast and nuttiness in decorous champagne.Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut NV Champagne narrowly missed out on a Which? Superlative Buy award.Priced at £34 it was awarded 77 per cent in the test.Scad of the panel said it was a “nice, buttery champagne”, but one found it “dull and indecent”.At the bottom of the table with a score of 63 per cent was Spar Marquis Belrive Champagne, at £17.50.THE Best FIZZ1. Co-op Les Pionniers £192. Mumm Cordon Rouge £353. Moet & Chandon Imp. £344. Tesco Highest-ranking Cru £195. Veuve Clicquot £356. Aldi Veuve Monsigny £127. Heidsieck Monopole £278. Lidl Comte de Senneval £129. Morrisons Prem. Cru £1910. Waitrose Brut £20

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