The best, precious and irresistible own-brand wines from the supermarket

The best, precious and irresistible own-brand wines from the supermarket

The best, precious and irresistible own-brand wines from the supermarket

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Co-op Irresistible Casablanca Valley Pinot Noir, Casablanca, Chile 2021 (£ 7, The Co-op) A supermarket thrift rule that many of us seem to follow: when chips drop and bills go up, brands go out and our own labels come in. And the data of Kantar market researchers, published in a trade magazine The beverage business earlier this month, suggests that this is exactly what’s happening in the UK as purse strings have tightened in recent months, with own-label wines holding up much better in a wine market that has generally been a little in crisis. In many cases (from Corn Flakes to toilet paper roll), filling our baskets with more Tesco or Aldi than usual is one of the least expensive changes we could make to save a few pounds here and there. And wine is very much included in that: many, if not most, of my supermarket tasting highlights are their own labels, including The Co-op’s brilliant raspberry-scented, herb-stained pinot pinot.

Tesco best Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy 2019 (£ 7, Tesco) Own-label wines tend to do well at big wine competitions, which is at least in part due to the fact that supermarkets like to flood them with signups. We also tend to hear about their wins more than their branded counterparts: PR departments in both supermarkets and competitions love when a cheap own-label wine beats brands sold at multiple times the price to grab a top trophy. As for the rest, do the news editors, who always seem to be looking for a story below that confirms their suspicions about the emperor’s stupidity in new clothes of paying too much for wine. There are times I’ve tasted trophy-winning wines that, while perfectly useful, struggle to live up to the hype of being “the best red wine in the world” or whatever absurd title they’ve been anointed with. But Tesco’s Montepulciano, with its intense fleshy dark plum, deserves the recognition that comes from winning the Great Value Red Wine Trophy at the International Wine Challenge in London.

Morrisons The Best Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie, Muscadet, Loire, France 2020 (£ 8, Morrisons) In a field that doesn’t exactly want false humility when it comes to naming (“I’ll take your best and raise you an irresistible one”), Morrisons’ exclusive range The Best really takes the cocky cake. But if the wines never live up to their name (and I suppose “Morrisons A Bit Better Than Some of Our Other Products” wouldn’t exactly thrill), many score pretty high on the value-for-money scale – and a lot. more right now, when the supermarket offers a 25% discount if you buy any three The Best wines. If I were to take advantage of the offer, I would be delighted with the following trio: the Morrisons The Best Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie textbook green apple and lemon snap of seafood pairing staple food; the dark cherry and salty bite of Morrisons The Best Barbera d’Asti (£ 7.50); and the deep, rich but spicy Morrisons The Best Oloroso Sherry (£ 6.50, 37.5cl), which was another of the winners of the IWC Great Value Trophy, this time for fortified wines.

Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach

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