Roll up for discounted bubbles as Marks & Spencer fires the opening salvo in the annual pre-Christmas price war. £5 off takes its respectable Champagne Oudinot Brut, a blend of 2000 vintage chardonnay and 1999 premium reserve wine, to £9.99 until New Year's Eve. Even some of the Grandes Marques are giving generous £5 handouts. The best deal on the reliable Lanson Black Label Champagne is a fiver off at Tesco, reducing it to £13.92 from next Wednesday.

Still in Grande Marque territory, the super-stylish Charles Heidsieck Brut Réserve Champagne, Mis en Cave en 1998, is down from £23.49 to £19.99 at Waitrose, while Champagne Pol Roger Brut Champagne, another champagne with flavour and finesse, is on offer at London wine merchants Lea & Sandeman at £19.95 bottle/case (www.Londonfinewines.co.uk). If you're happy to put quality before image, one of the best values around is the classy, creamy and full-flavoured blanc de blancs of Pierre Gimonnet & Fils Champagne, Cuis 1er cru (£16.99, Oddbins).

There are a number of 1996 vintage champagne deals well worth snapping up bearing in mind a winning combination of £10 off and the fact that 1996 is arguably the best champagne vintage of the decade. The gloriously rich and intense 1996 Veuve Clicquot Champagne from Thresher and Wine Rack is a mere £29.99 from next Tuesday. The same price deal, available now, applies to the seriously classy and complex 1996 Pol Roger Champagne, at Majestic Wine Warehouses.

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