The judges of the Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships 2014 don’t think so – and neither do I.
It was no surprise when the Co-operative’s own-brand fizz, the result of a tie up with Piper and Charles Heidseick, picked up a clutch of awards including “World Champion Supermarket Vintage Champagne” and “World Champion Greatest Value Champagne.”
I did a round up of the best supermarket Champagne last year and Les Pionniers (39% chardonnay, 46% pinot noir, 15% meunier) was a “star buy.”
At £24.99, this golden wine, with a light mousse, carries heaps of appley, citrus freshness that belie its depth and complexity. It’s classy enough to celebrate a corporate deal or a romantic soirée – or a jolly nice way to start the weekend.
Heading well south of Champagne, I have been enjoying a reminder of summer in the guise of a duo from Languedoc-Roussillon, a favourite stomping ground for family holidays, via The Wine Society.
Cabardès, Château de Pennautier 2012 (£7.95) is touted as a delicious “everyday red” by the Wine Society (www.thewinesociety.com). I don’t know what its tasters knock back on Monday nights, but this is a notch above my normal weekday drinking.
The combo of Bordelais and Languedoc varieties works very well, providing blackcurrant and leathery spice. Château de Pennautier has a luscious deep bramble colour and is made for roast beef.
Both wines are on offer until October 19, or while stocks last. Take my advice and bag a box of Pennautier. It’s got a great label, too.