Fed up with just opting for Supermarket Champagnes?
15th January 2021
I must firstly say that the following article is to not push people away from purchasing Champagne at supermarkets. I instead wish to advise those who have explored most of the labels from the wine isles of such stores as Tesco, Aldi and Morrisons and simply wish to see what other aromas and flavours there are to explore.
Supermarket Champagnes are fine in my honest opinion. You get to try the glamour of the top names such as Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Lanson and more (usually their basic NV Brut) and sometimes there is an own supermarket brand to try (usually mass product purchase from a co-op in Champagne) along with some more expensive rosés / vintages / luxury brands (ie Dom Pérignon). Though once you have explored these then you have more or less ticked off every tasting experience there is to be had. Supermarkets remain still more than adequate for 90% of the consumer market requirements I feel and especially those bigger outlets with an extensive range of wines to offer. So long as it says ‘Champagne’ on the bottle, then for most that is all that matters (I was happy with that a few years ago myself).
Not supermarket Champagne
So, you have embraced supermarket Champagnes, you have a got a feel for these very fine bubbles and you wish to take things up a level. Wonderful I say and what a journey you can now look forward to – From my already mounting experiences, I can tell you that pathway ahead is one to very much look forward to. Though, you will need to explore outside of supermarket shelves and shopping baskets.
There are thousands of Champagne producers from the big to the small and each one you can get to taste and enjoy so long as you know where to look. Some are easy to find (ie at supermarkets) and yet many require a little more research or usually, you stumble across by chance and you end up falling in love with. Some examples of how to explore Champagnes:
- Wine merchants both high street and online: There are many, many wine merchants for you to explore either by walking into your local Majestic Wines to searching for ‘Champagne online sales‘ on Google. From trade suppliers to bespoke websites selling small numbers.
- Wine professionals: You can sometimes be enlightened to a new Champagne brand from an article you read in the national newspaper to a post you see on Facebook. Millions around the world share their experiences on tasting Champagne and from this alone you have a wealth of factual and current information to refer to.
- Awards: The idea of wine awards and especially those with authority are highly admired by both wineries and also wine buyers – There are many dedicated to Champagne / sparkling wines such as the Glass of Bubbly Champagne and Sparkling Wine Awards. Here you can look out for the likes of ‘gold medals‘ that will indicate a quality wine when you are out and about looking to buy some fizz.
- Events: Many trade and consumer wine tasting events take place from those with many exhibiting stands and wines to taste to those run by wine educators with only a few ticketed attendees enjoying a taste through a specific region / style of wine.
- Direct: What better way to purchase your Champagne than direct from the winemaker themselves. Not a common way as usually winery websites are not designed for taking orders and neither is the winery represented in the UK, but sometimes you can contact the Champagne house directly to make an order. Another absolutely brilliant experience is to travel to the Champagne region itself and visit individual Champagne houses and taste / purchase directly. For some people, this is a bucket list occasion.
- Internet: Probably the most influential of ways to find out more about Champagne. From websites to social media, from live video broadcasts to the occasional blog – It is probably the most popular and common way to engage with Champagne.
“Glass of Bubbly have embraced the world of wine sales by offering a unique way to buy Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Only listing award winning labels and importantly allowing buyers to purchase direct from the suppliers / wineries with zero commission fees charged enabling discounted prices / offers. Discover award winning Champagne and Sparkling Wines here.“
We take a look at five Champagne award winning labels that you will not see at the Supermarket and that are priced between £30 to £60 a bottle:
Champagne Albert Beerens Vintage 2013:
Purchase via the Glass of Bubbly website directly here – Price £46.68 per bottle.
Tasting notes: “A rounded smokey, savoury, peach/apricot aroma. A nice balance between salty, subtle acidity and sugars from the fruits. Malolactic used I feel to give a burst of yellow fruits with a savoury / peach / apricot / mineral / limestone flavour.”
Champagne Chateau de Boursault Cuvée Prestige:
Purchase via the Champagne house website here – 37.00€ per bottle.
Tasting notes: “Good citrus and apricot character in flavours with a growing pastry and yeasty length.”
Champagne Royal Riviera Brut:
Purchase via the Glass of Bubbly website here – £30 per bottle.
Tasting notes: “A soft creamy citrus nose with added yellow stone fruits. I am getting why this year the Champagne was awarded gold in the Creamy category. Smooth flavours, hits of citrus zestiness with a subtle soft / creamy background giving a balanced tasting experience.”
Champagne Allouchery-Perseval Le Tradition Blanc de Noirs:
Purchase via the Glass of Bubbly website here – £49.50 per bottle.
Tasting notes: “Peach, sea air and with time in the glass, you also get brioche slices. A crisp mineral character with high acidity. Salty lemon zest, green apples and a touch of white pepper powder.”
Champagne Nadege Fliniaux Divine Blanc de Blancs:
Purchase via the Glass of Bubbly website here – £50 per bottle.
Tasting notes: “Ripe apricot skin, honeysuckle and yellow blossom on the nose. Yellow fruit acidity with a subtle citrus acidity in the length making it perfect for gastronomy delights.”
Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.