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Food & Drink

The 10 best Champagnes

See in the new year in style with a bottle of bubbles. Sam Muston rounds up France's finest and best-value fizz for the perfect celebration

{1} Virginie T

Having worked under her father Claude for 21 years, Virginie Tattinger (known in France as the Princess of Champagne) has branched out on her own with this non-vintage brut. Rich, elegant and full of candied fruit flavours.

£25.90, virginie-t.com

{2} Sainsbury’s Blanc de Noirs Brut

This is what one might call a good all-rounder. You can serve it with leftover turkey or with salmon; drink it on its own or make champagne cocktail from it. The Pinot-noir-rich drink is a good friend to have around on New Year’s Eve.

£20.99, sainsburys.co.uk

{3} Veuve Monsigny Brut  by Philizot Aldi

At under a tenner, an absolute steal. Chock-full of tiny bubbles, which spiral up the flute in golden spirals, dispensing flavours of lemon and honey as they go. It is smooth as unction, too, so you can drink it with worrying ease.

£9.99, aldi.co.uk

{4} Domaine Laurens  Les Graimenous Cremant  de Limoux 2011

So this is not strictly speaking a champagne. What it is, is an exceptionally good sparkling wine. It is made in Limoux, at the base of the Pyrenees, from a blend of chardonnay, chenin blanc, mauzac and pinot noir. The result is a forceful, invigorating drink.

£13.95, robersonwine.com

{5} Moët Grand Vintage 2004

The 70th Moët Grand Vintage is silkier than a night dress, which is quite an achievement since it has roughly half the sugar of most other brut champagnes. It is made of a third each of chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier and is rich in peach, citrus and almond flavours. A classic.

£35, tesco.com

{6} Dom Perignon 2004

When this vintage was released in May, it sold in record-breaking quantities. And little wonder, it is a wonderfully robust wine, rich in brioche and white fruit flavours, made from 53 per cent pinot noir and 47 per cent Chardonnay. Outstandingly good.

£109, ocado.com

{7} Veuve Cliquot Demi-Sec White Label NV

Demi-sec champagnes are, to most British champagne-lovers, anathema. Many of us seem to think “half-dry” is a synonym for “sickly sweet”. Not so with this honeyed wine. It ploughs a pleasing furrow between sour and sugared – which makes it exceptionally versatile. As good with Roquefort as it with dessert.

£36.90, tanners-wines.co.uk

{8} M&S Oudinot Medium Dry

For “medium dry” read demi-sec here. Unlike some of its drier brethren, you can drink this merrily as an aperitif or with dinner. It is a flexible friend and has a £10 discount on its recommended price until the end of the month.

£15 (with £10 discount), marksandspencer.com

{9} Laurent-Perrier Rose

The undisputed king of rose champagne. It’s voluptuous bottle contains a stylish wine which is rich in strawberry and berry flavours. It is eminently drinkable (almost too drinkable) – especially if you prefer the sweeter side.

£43.49, ocado.com

{10} Comte de Brismand Brut

An uncomplicated fizz which is very easy-on-the-palate. It is mild, wholly lacking in bitterness and has some very pleasing lemon flavours to it. Perfect for a NYE house party.

£13.99, lidl.co.uk