As we are currently doing all our wine drinking at home, we wanted to find out what we should be looking for when heading to the shops to pick up our social distanced vino. The wine section of supermarkets can be an intimidating place, with so much to choose from, we often find ourselves going for the same tried and tested bottle. However now is the perfect opportunity to get adventurous with the wines we are drinking at home and take the extra time to try something new. So we asked our beverage manager, and resident wine expert, Will, for his buying tips and recommendations that you can buy today from your local supermarket.
Here is what he had to say.
Ever since the Australian Chardonnay revolution in the late 1980’s, supermarkets have been the go-to for affordable, easy drinking and reliable wine, for wine drinkers across the country. This still stands today, with many now offering their own brand wines in a variety of grapes and regions, alongside the well-known bigger brands that have come to slightly homogenise the supermarket shelves.
We’ve all drunk cheap, horrible wine (and woken up the next day regretting it!) but this doesn’t mean we have to break the bank to find a decent bottle. The good news is that the majority of supermarket sold wines are under £10 and, with the huge advances in wine making techniques over the last twenty or so years, the majority of these will be perfectly quaffable (I do exclude the bottom shelf, sub £4 a bottle – sorry!).
My tip would be, if you can afford it, look around the £7-9 bracket as below this, after duty (currently £2.27), VAT, and the supermarket mark up, there isn’t much left for what’s in the bottle!
For me, New World wine (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and USA) still offer better value for money than the same priced French or Italian equivalent, particularly the well know French areas such as Bordeaux or Burgundy.
I often get asked what I think people should be drinking – my answer always is that we drink wine for pleasure and with friends. Whatever the price point, if it flows down the throat and brings a smile to the face it’s a winner.
Top tip: Lidl and Aldi wines are (mostly) fantastic value. For those with deeper pockets, Waitrose has an extensive range with some excellent Old and New World examples at a competitive price.
Here are some of my favourite supermarket wines for you to pick up and try over the next few weeks:
Lidl Cimarosa Malborough Sauvignon Blanc 2019 – Seeing the price tag of £5.99 I was initially sceptical, however this zippy NZ Sauvignon Blanc really over-delivers with pungent grapefruit and elderflower flavours.
Aldi Exquisite Claire Valley Riesling 2018 – Incredible value at £6.99, this made it into Decanter’s Most Exciting White Wines of 2019. If you think you don’t like Riesling, try this – it’s bone dry, citrusy and delicious.
Trivento Reserve Malbec 2018 from Tesco. Rich plum and dense red fruits belie the £8.00 price tag of this cracker. Whenever I buy this my fiancé hoovers it up – I don’t get a look in.
Graham Beck Brut Sparkling NV from Waitrose. At £14.99 this is cheaper than Champagne and better than most! Graham Beck is considered the top sparkling wine maker in South Africa – absolutely incredible value.
We hope you enjoy the wines, let us know what you think or if you have any recommendations for us to try on our social channels.