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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 September 2005, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
Supermarket bubbly named top fizz
Champagne bottle
The supermarket own-label champagne beat off 282 rivals
A supermarket's own-brand champagne has beaten off many more expensive and famous rivals to scoop a top award.

It is the first time in the 22-year history of the International Wine Challenge awards that a supermarket champagne took the category.

In blind taste tests by experts, Tesco Premier Cru, at 14.79 a bottle, beat 282 other non-vintage offerings from top names like Taittinger and Lanson.

"It is a great coup for them," said awards co-chairman Charles Metcalfe.

Tesco said its champagne was made with grapes from Premier Cru vineyards based mainly in the Cote des Blancs, south of Epernay.

The same wine won a taste test in Which? magazine in 2002.

The International Wine Challenge is an annual competition run by Wine International magazine.

Its tasting panel is made up of more than 465 winemakers, merchants and writers, including 41 Masters of Wine.

The award for Overall Merchant of 2005 went to The Wine Society, Sainsbury's took the supermarket of the year category and Majestic was named top High Street retailer.

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