Page links; Related site pagesBook travel, hotelsUseful outside linksAbout us, Contact

On this page;

Shoppers price survey for Champagnes and sparkling wines in Calais, France –

euro logo

Champagnes and Sparkling Wines – price survey

Champagne is cheaper in the U.K? Oh no it is not!

Champagnes use to be much cheaper in France and offered the biggest savings for cross channel shoppers. No more. You do need to shop around. Whilst prices are generally cheaper, its not always the case. Once again however, shoppers enjoy a much greater choice in French supermarkets. Whilst United Kingdom stores tend to bulk buy to get the savings, French shops offer a choice.

Whilst it is true champagne and spirits can be cheaper in the United Kingdom sometimes, this is usually dependent on special offers for a limited period. Before Xmas 2009 for example, we were told it was no longer worth buying champagne in France as the highly selective price comparisons quoted, suggested it was more expensive popping across the channel. A few weeks later we did a little survey and found that shoppers would still save 20% buying branded champagnes in France. Perhaps this is why about £1 of the cost of an average bottle of wine in the United Kingdom goes on marketing.

Spirit prices increased considerably in 2009 in France. We remain firmly of the opinion that with a little bit of research BEFORE you cross the channel considerable savings can still be made and a good day out enjoyed as well.

United Kingdom budget 2010 – Duty on beer, wine and spirits increased in March 2010. Alcohol duties will also increase by 2% above inflation for two further years from 2013.

According to our calculations this means that a bottle of champagne now costing £20 will in 2014, after the last 2% increase cost 10.41% more in real terms or £22.08.

Supermarkets generally offer the best prices. A lot of the own brand French stuff is good value. This survey will help you find the best value items. More about Champagne.

If you are buying for a wedding or celebration – the journey is well worth it when buying champagne providing you have done your research. We suggest making a journey and sampling the range you have bought, then going back another day and stocking up.

Shops with a good range of champagnes include; Le Chais. Auchan and Carrefour have a good range of unbranded champagnes.

Best Buys (Other best buys); Many champagnes are much cheaper in France. There is also a much better range to choose from.

TIP – Check prices at home before you go, and use these pages to help you save money. To go direct to a price survey for a particular item click on the link. We have also listed in detail on another page those items which are best buys, which you may find useful to take with you. We have had e-mails suggesting that its not always a good idea to wait until Calais before stocking up when returning from holiday. If you have a view on this, let us know

CREDIT CARDS – we suggest you ring your credit card company before shopping in France – increased fraud means they are turning down shoppers cards if their spending deviates from the norm. Take your mobile – you can often sort the problem out over the phone.

Related site pages



Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of these surveys, and has carried out considerable in depth research, they should be seen as a guide only and not definitive.

19th December 2009 – Interesting champagne prices.

We often have a quick check of wine and champagne prices mentioned in newspaper articles. The British grocery trade have been adept this year suggesting the booze cruise has ended. Whilst their survey methods are extremely limited and highly questionable (taking a very special and limited United Kingdom offer and comparing it something at normal price in France, or comparing a United Kingdom beer with one generally not available in France) the press have slavishly reprinted their press releases without much questioning. Whilst things are not as good as they were (a combination of big tax rises on spirits and tobacco in France, and an astonishingly poor exchange rate), savings are still there to be made.

Much news recently has suggested Champagne is cheaper in England at Xmas, but as one wine journalist said, just because its cheap, does not mean its good value. We agree. We strongly advise shoppers to buy one and try it first. The trouble is most United Kingdom deals are for buying in bulk. Perhaps we now know why. We looked at some of the champagnes mentioned in a recent Times newspaper article. Three of the champagnes mentioned were available in Sainsbury and Tesco in Calais, as well as other shops. Prices were 20 to 41% cheaper in France (Sainsbury's Calais were cheapest by the way). The average saving was 22% on United Kingdom prices.

Don't forget the on board offers, especially the two for one on board PO Ferries, whose offers are proving unbeatable.

Latest Survey

Under the "Drink of the week" column in the Sunday Telegraph magazine, the following champagnes were listed. We thought it would be nice to show how much they cost in Calais.

All prices shown in euro unless indicated otherwise at the head of the column. Survey based on credit card purchases and paying the euro price.

Product United Kingdom £ United Kingdom Shop Le Chais


Save in Fr.

Wine Beer Odd bins Sains. Tesco
Mumm Cordon Rouge
Louise Roederer Brut Premier
Veuve Clicquot
Pol Roger Cuvee de Reserve


BOLD = cheapest

Results / recommendations; .

Some shops such as Majestic Wine and Beer Warehouse offer favourable exchange rates for cash sterling purchases. You can save about 4% more if paying by cash, where a favourable exchange rate is offered. More often than not the rates for sterling purchases are worst than those offered by credit card. Basically, check the exchange rate shown on before going.

Survey of Champagne prices in Calais, France

All champagnes are "Brut" and in 70 cl bottles

Shop - Sainsbury's United Kingdom P and O Ferries Ferry Auchan Hyper-market Sainsbury's France
Cordon Rouge – Mumm
Lanson Black Label
Laurent Perrier.
Moet and Chandon Brut Imperial
Moet and Chandon Dry Imperial
Pieper Heidsieck
Pommery Brut Royal
Veuve Clicquot

** Le Chais – has a carefully chosen selection of non branded champagnes. This survey showed that overwhelmingly Auchan has the best prices.

Useful Outside links

– Check out the latest catalogue / leaflet offers (PDF).

rip off britain – Rip-off United Kingdom Worth looking at.

General site.

General site.

Tourism information.

Branded Champagnes






Piper Heidsieck.

Show booking widget only