Christmas 2015: 10 best champagne alternatives

Not a fan of the traditional bubbly? Here are the sparkling substitutes

Richard Hood
Monday 21 December 2015 13:57

Looking for a drop of frothy fizz to accompany your Christmas feasting? Before dashing down the wine aisle and popping your cork on a bottle of champers, hold fire and give thought to some of these sparkling alternatives.

Not only will our suggestions save you a few quid, these drinks will tickle your tonsils awake and provide the perfect conversation piece for when the post-pudding lethargy starts to bite.

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1. M&S, Elderflower & Cucumber Gin Fizz, 5.5%: £5 for 75cl

Freshen up the festivities with this gin cocktail containing cool cucumber and fragrant elderflower flavours. Light and bright, it’ll put a smile on your face long before the cracker jokes do the rounds.

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2. Once Upon a Tree, Chapel Pleck Sparkling Perry, 8%: £12.25 for 75cl

Once Upon a Tree’s Herefordshire orchards are bang in the heart of perry-making country and this handmade treat is worthy of any celebration. Its natural champagne method, sparkle and long maturation period give a light and fruity sophistication that rises to the occasion from starter to dessert.

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3. Philippe Michel Cremant Du Jura, 12%: £7.29 for 75cl, Aldi

For fizzy French booze on a budget, this multi-award-winning chardonnay will keep your guests, and wallet, happy. It’s crisp and instantly refreshing, with a hint of citrus on the palate to help it cut through even the heaviest Christmas feasts.

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4. Crémant de Limoux Brut Cuvée Sélection, 12.5%: £12.50, Yapp Brothers

Made in the same way as champagne, and with a blend of champagne grapes (chardonnay and pinot noir), this comes as close to a swanky champagne as you can get without the hefty price tag. It’s fun, frothy and deliciously crisp.

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5. Akashi-Tai Junmai Ginjo Sparkling Sake, 7%: £10.50 for 30cl, Fareham Wine Cellar

For adventurous, tradition defying diners, here’s a drink to get your guests talking: bottle-fermented sake. With a light, floral aroma, delicate fruit flavours, and a satisfying tang to finish, it’s sure to be the toast of the table.

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6. Belvoir Fruit Farms Organic Elderflower Pressé, 0%: £1.72 for 75cl, Ocado

Here’s a non-alcoholic fizz that evokes the heady smell of summer hedgerows to help soothe away any lingering winter blues. It’s a finely balanced, heavenly-scented blend of acidity and sweetness with enough sparkle to make any occasion special.

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7. Pilton Cider, 5.5%: £8 for 75cl

Worship at the apple chapel with this beauty; a gloriously golden cider produced by ‘keeving’ – the delicate art of making naturally sweet, sparkling cider by a carefully cultivated fermentation process. This is one of Somerset’s finest, made with apples scrumped from Glastonbury’s ancient orchards.

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8. Deus Brut des Flandres, 11.5%: £17.95 for 75cl, Beer Merchants

Fancy a posh pint? Try this – a complex, medium-bodied Belgian booze that has undergone a similar fermentation process to champagne, resulting in an explosion of spicy hoppiness that will dance on your tongue.

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9. Camel Valley Pinot Noir Brut 2010, 12.5%: £24.99 for 75cl, Waitrose

Pressed and fermented at the multi-award-winning Camel Valley vineyards, this Cornish cracker thumbs its nose at most top-end champagnes. Bright, fruity and dry as a biscuit, it’s a world-class glass of bubbly booze.

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10. Allini Prosecco Spumante NV: £5.25, Lidl

Delicate on the tongue and light on the pocket, this Lidl beauty outshines many of the posher proseccos available. Sip it with fishy dishes or enjoy on its own.

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The Crémant de Limoux Brut is an absolute steal, but if you've got deep pockets and wish to serve up something out of the ordinary, the incredible Deus Brut des Flandres is our top of the pops.

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