The best supermarket prosecco, tried and tested for Christmas

Most proseccos taste a little bit off-dry; some even have a dab of sweetness Credit: AP

How we love prosecco, the classic Italian sparkling wine made in the cool, green hills of the north-east Veneto region, just north of Venice. Prosecco isn’t complex or rich like fine champagne - it’s produced from just one grape called glera (not a blend like many champagnes), and it isn’t aged on the yeast like a traditional method sparkler but made and bottled quickly and meant to be enjoyed while young. Its appeal lies in its simple fresh fruitiness, frothy bubbles and light, easily digestible, style. Oh -  and its low price.

Most proseccos taste a little bit off-dry; some even have a dab of sweetness. They usually contain between 10.5% and 11.5% alcohol, slightly lighter than other sparkling wines. Most are labelled DOC (denominazione di origine controllata) but those carrying the DOCG title (DOC e garantita) are meant to be slightly better crafted - they come from the classic heartland of prosecco production, around the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene near Treviso.

The test

I tested 12 widely available proseccos from the major national retailers. They were sampled blind - ie each label was covered up by a helper so I didn’t know which one I was tasting. I gave marks out of 10 for each, looking for lively and persistent, but small, refined bubbles, appealing fruity scents and flavours and a fresh, crisp finish with a good balance of sugar; ideally just a shade off-dry.

The results

Not many real duds here; in general almost all of these are palatable. But it is definitely worth seeking out the top-scoring ones, as they have a much better balance of acidity and juicy fruit, not too much sweetness or floral confection and they deliver the most mouth-watering and fresh appeal. The Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference prosecco is delightful, ticking all the boxes that a superior vintage DOCG prosecco should, and is currently on an enticing offer, while Tesco’s finest Prosecco is a shade simpler, but highly enjoyable too.

Watch out for the current special offers ending, as some of these sparklers are much too expensive at their 'normal' price

Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco Superiore Brut 2014 DOCG (Sainsbury’s, £10 down to £7.50 until 1 Jan): BEST IN TEST

The newish release of 2014 is a cracker, scented with pears and yellow apples, carrying masses of delicate little bubbles and with a crisp, slightly off-dry finish. Delicious and relatively low in alcohol at 10.5%.


Finest Prosecco Brut, Bisol (Tesco, £8)

Lively and light, with citrus and yellow pear fruit, this is well-balanced, refreshing and super-frothy - it would go down a storm at a big, hot party.


Definition Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (Majestic, £12.99, or £9.74 if you mix and match 6 bottles)

Attractive apple and pear aroma; fresh, lively and crisp and tastes somewhat drier than most. One to go for if you dislike the sweeter, more floral style of some proseccos, but on the pricey side.


Co-operative Prosecco Special Cuvée Brut (£9.99 down to £6.99 until 3 Jan): BEST VALUE

Big, bouncy bubbles, definitely off-dry and with an orange marmalade tang. Not the most refined or subtle, but likeable as a party pour and well priced on offer.


Aldi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry DOCG (Aldi, £7.49)

On the sweeter side, which won’t suit everyone, but with an appealing juicy flavour of apricots and a fresh, slightly honeyed finish. 


Conte Priuli Prosecco Vino Spumante Extra Dry (Marks & Spencer, £12)

Creamy and frothy with a hints of peardrop and peach that verge on the confected/sweetshop. Not bad, then, but expensive.


San Leo Prosecco Brut (Telegraph Wine from Waitrose, £10.49, down to £7.79 until 3 Jan) 

Off-dry with a whiff of rosewater, fresh and floral throughout, but I marked it down for being little bit soapy/confected on the finish


Allini Conegliano-Valdobbiadene Prosecco 2014 Extra Dry DOCG (Lidl, £7.49)

Fresh and with a good apple flavour but a bit coarse - big bubbles that disappeared too quickly in the glass.


Marks & Spencer Prosecco Extra Dry (£10, down to £8 until 1 Jan)

Clean and fresh, with light notes of pears and apple but a bit neutral. Marked down, though, for a rather bitter finish.


Morrisons ‘Signature’ Prosecco Spumante (£10 down to £7 until 3 Jan)

Little aroma; flavours are fresh with very lively big bubbles. Hint of cooked rhubarb. OK for sparkling cocktails but lacks elegance on its own.


Extra Special Prosecco Brut (Asda, £8.25 down to £7 until 31 Dec)

I’ve liked this in the past but in this test it was let down by a cloying, sweet and soapy finish.  Very floral - Parma violets especially. 


Plaza Centro Prosecco Treviso Brut (Tesco, £7)

Make a beeline in Tesco for its Finest prosecco (see above) rather than this poor offering. It’s cheap, and tastes it - sweet and coarse, with tinned pears and bubblegum the dominant flavours



Save up to 33% on selected Prosecco and Champagne with Telegraph Wine from Waitrose