As Christmas approaches and preparation for big family meals starts, there are questions that need to be answered. Which relatives need to be at different ends of the table? Who gets the best presents? And, of course, how much are you going to spend on drinks?
As much as you want to splash out on the bubbly, prices for what seems like a good bottle can quickly start to eat into any budget - so it came as a happy surprise that Which? experts named Aldis £9.99 one of their best buys this Christmas.
Eager to see whether people could really tell the difference, IBTimes UK held our own blind tasting, pitting Aldis best against a bottle of Moet and Chandon and Veuve Cliquot. Where Aldis Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut will set you back £9.99, the Moet goes for £32.50 and the Veuve Cliquot a pricier £35.
Our science reporter, Martha Henriques, started us off, telling us about studies showing that how people enjoy champagne is not just affected by the drink itself – the environment youre drinking in and even the kind of glass affects how much people enjoy their tipple. In the end, she picked the Moet as the cheapest, commenting that its so much about the experience and your environment and the social atmosphere when youre drinking. Maybe the office on a Tuesday afternoon wasnt the best atmosphere.
Our next two tasters were more experienced, both having studied wines and knowing a bit more about the language and criteria people use to judge champagnes. The Moet and Cliquot were complicated and difficult, while comments were made about the amount and size of the bubbles.
Both chose the Aldi one correctly. So if our little (and obviously very accurate) science experiment showed anything – knowing more about your wines and champagnes brings a different level of enjoyment, one where the price of your bottle is going to change how your night goes.
If youre just out for a good time, its more likely to be where you are and the company you keep that dictates that – a glass of expensive champagne cant save a bad party.