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Is champagne an overpaid luxury product, or is it the best sparkling wine in the world? Or perhaps both? And how different is it from other sparkling wines? Can the classic German Winzersekt, for example, keep up, or are the two types of wine not comparable at all? These are questions we regularly encounter, especially in the run-up to Christmas and at the turn of the year. The answer: it's complicated!

Champagne: mere luxury?

To say it right away: champagne can be a stunning drink, perhaps the most fascinating of all: complex, deep, fine and beguiling. However, it takes some practice and experience to distinguish good from weak champagne - and much more of it if you want to recognise the great ones among the good ones.