Even seasoned wine connoisseurs will tell you that, when it’s all said and done, deliciousness is in the taste buds of the beholder.
In other words, taste is subjective. There’s no set of standards that a wine must meet to be considered “good”. If you like it, you like it—whatever the price. Whilst your odds of finding a great wine certainly increase the further up the price bracket you climb, that doesn’t mean you can’t find a tasty bottle for less than £10 at your local supermarket.
Don’t shy away from ‘own brand’
These days, most of major supermarkets, including Sainsburys, Tesco, M&S and Waitrose, have their very own range of wines that are, perhaps surprisingly, nothing to scoff at. Although own brand wines can be hit or miss, when you find one you like, it’s fantastic.
Look for medal-winners
Winning an award doesn’t guarantee that a wine is any good, but it certainly increases the chances. Many were surprised to see so many supermarket wines pick up medals at the 2014 Golden Aisle International Wine Challenge, but it came as no shock to those of us who had already copped on to this best kept foodie secret.
Don’t judge a wine by its label
We’re all guilty of this. After 15 minutes of debating between two bottles, we give up and go for the one with the nicest label. But don’t get swept up by the marketing! Instead, do your research ahead of time and choose a wine that suits your taste and matches your budget (fancy label or not).
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again! That’s definitely true when it comes to discovering that perfect supermarket wine. You might have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince, but it’s all worth it in the end.
This own brand cab sauv out of South Africa has a loyal following among bargain-hunting winos. It’s robust, with fruity, blackcurrant notes, and has no added sulphites (a rarity for supermarket wines). Susy Atkins, the Telegraph’s resident wine expert, suggests pairing it with peppery sausages or steak frites. YUM!
This aromatic sauvignon blanc from New Zealand scored a gold medal at the 2014 Golden Aisle International Wine Challenge, and it’s easy to see why. Crisp, clean and herbaceous, it’s a very ‘drinkable’ wine that’s sure to impress dinner guests with a wide range of palates.
This full-bodied red from Puglia in Southern Italy, with its bold berry flavours and hint of aniseed, is one of the best value wines on the market. Pair it with beef Wellington or slow-roasted lamb and you can’t go wrong.
This scrumptious dessert wine was getting rave reviews even before it scooped up a gold medal at the Wine Challenge this year. With sweet notes of marmalade, toffee and mango, it’s perfectly paired with some after-dinner blue cheese or a fresh mince pie on Christmas.
There you have it—permission to hit the supermarket and find yourself a tasty, wallet-friendly wine to show off at your next dinner party.
What are your favourite supermarket wines?