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Great value Sainsbury’s and Co-op fizz

Having cast my eye over two promotions that started this week - at the Co-op and Sainsbury's - here is some well priced (and well made) champagne to help you toast the arrival of spring.

Both the Co-op and Sainsbury’s started a fresh round of promotions this week and here are some of the highlights.

With spring getting under way (said he, trying to convince himself) and another Bank Holiday in prospect, the focus this time is on champagnes – two of them around the £17-£18 mark.

To keep the balance, there is also a red and a white for you to savour.


Although these promotions at both retailers end on 28 April, the judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the time of the post.


Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.

Classy Blanc de blancs

Fresh and biscuity
Fresh and lively

While pinot noir gives champagne complexity, the mighty chardonnay brings freshness and often creaminess too.

Enjoy for example the liveliness and custard cream backdrop to the fresh apple and lemon fruit in the exclusively chardonnay Sainsbury’s Blanc de Blanc Champagne Brut (£18 – instead of £20)

Terrific Champagne at an ongoing price

Toasty and citrus centred
Toasty and citrus centred

By contrast, it is predominantly pinot noir in the award winning Les Pionniers Champagne (£16.99 at the Co-op) .

That pinot is almost certainly behind the toasty aromas on display here which neatly supplement the citrus and green apple flavours and attractive vitality.

In case you are wondering, the name refers to the Rochdale Pioneers – founding fathers in the Co-operative movement.

Need a (sure to be welcome) gift

Vibrant yet subtle
Vibrant yet subtle

If so, the Lanson Black Label Champagne Gift Box (down £10 to £23.99 at the Co-op) may be for you.

With less pinot noir and more chardonnay than Les Pionniers, this Lanson really brings vibrant acidity and lemon fruit to the fore and turns the volume down slightly on the biscuity backdrop.

Since charity begins at home, treat yourself to a bottle too!

While you are in the Co-op ….

Soft cherry centred fruit
Soft cherry centred fruit

No need to retrict yourselves to champagne while you are in store as 2010 Marques de Valido Rioja Reserva (£5.99 – instead of £8.99) would be an excellent choice.

The three years maturation (a third of it in oak) gives this red a smooth and soft texture without dimming its bold cherry fruit or the cinnamon and mocha touches that support it.

Meanwhile back in Sainsbury’s

What Marlborough does well
What Marlborough does well

It’s not just fizz that sparkles in the current Sainsbury’s promotions because 2014 NZed Sauvignon Blanc (down from £10 to two bottles for £14 or £7 a bottle in Scotland) is also first rate stuff.

Its fresh, grassy gooseberry components are exactly what Marlborough does well but here those elements are overlaid by hints of orange and mint along with zesty, sherbet lime acidity too.

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