The best cheap supermarket prosecco, according to a wine expert

‘This one tastes like it’s been left in the fridge for a week’

The Bank Holiday weekend is upon us, and revellers up and down the country are ready to pop open some champers and celebrate.

For those who can’t afford Moët, though, there’s always prosecco – champagne’s cheaper, crisper cousin, best bought last-minute and cheap from your nearest supermarket.

In the interest of good decision-making, we headed down to Cottons in Notting Hill to ask the expert opinion of General Manager and drinks expert Martin Orbons.

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According to Martin, the perfect proseccos are the subtle ones: “They’re not too sweet or artificial. They have to be dry, light and refreshing.”

With that in mind, how do the high street’s best offerings fare?

Plaza Centro Prosecco, Tesco, £6.50

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“It’s almost a little sweet – not as dry as you’d expect from a prosecco. It’s easy to drink, but usually the purpose of any sparkling wine is to refresh the palate: to give you a neutral mouth feel before dinner, for example.

“This one is quite sweet though, so it’s not as refreshing.”

When would you drink it?

“It’s nice for a summer day. it would be fine for a fancy dinner with friends, but it would be better enjoyed on a terrace in the sun with people who prefer sweeter drinks.”

Where do you think it’s from?

“A pub. It’s a pub prosecco.”

Scalini Prosecco, Co-op, £6.99

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“The colour is a lot different than the last one and it’s more sparkling, which is promising. It’s a lot drier, but still a little bit weird tasting, like they added sugar rather than just let it ferment naturally.

“I prefer this one – is it higher in alcohol content? It’s the same? Maybe it’s because it’s my second glass.”

When would you drink it?

“This is a Monday evening wine. It’s fine during the week, but nothing special – not a Friday or Saturday prosecco.”

Where do you think it’s from?

“I’d say it’s a little higher on the scale than the previous one, for sure.”

Winemakers’ Selection Prosecco Frizzante, Sainsbury’s, £6.50

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“This one looks absolutely terrible. What does it say on the bottle – wine pairings: fish, pizza, chips? I wouldn’t even put it in a mimosa – it tastes like it’s had a lot added in.

“It’s not even sparkling, and you can barely even call it wine. There’s no carbonation, and even then it’s not refreshing whatsoever. This is definitely headache prosecco. I wouldn’t recommend it.”

When would you drink it?

“It’s the end of the month, you haven’t received your salary yet, your girlfriend’s dumped you, this is on offer and you get it free with two microwave meals. Maybe then this can be your liquid dessert.”

Where do you think it’s from?

“A dodgy corner store which just opened.”

Glera Prosecco, M&S, £9.00

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“Again, I’m heavily disappointed in the carbonation: there’s nothing going on. It looks interesting too, which is making me suspicious regarding all the add-ons. It is better than the last one though.

“It’s not the worst, but there’s hardly any carbonation – we opened this bottle one minute ago but it tastes like it’s been left in the fridge for a week.”

When would you drink it?

“I’d say it’s a breakfast prosecco. You could get creative and mix it with any kind of juice, maybe make a mimosa, so it overpowers the flavour a little bit.”

Where do you think it’s from?

“A discount store.”

San Leo Prosecco Brut NV, Waitrose, £6.99

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“This one is the best one. I’d give it a 6/10. It actually tastes like prosecco, which is nice. It’s more refreshing, not super sugary, no weird soapy liquid on top. It’s not bad at all.”

When would you drink it?

“On a Wednesday or Thursday, when you’re working towards the weekend and want to treat yourself.”

Where do you think it’s from?

“Probably the best shop out of all of them.”

BEST: San Leo Prosecco Brut NV, Waitrose, £6.99

WORST: Prosecco Frizzante, Sainsbury’s, £6.50

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