Discount wines anyone?

Article date: 22 October 2006

Walk into any supermarket and, as sure as the sun rises, somewhere between groceries and frozen veg will be a stand of cut price wine. Which poses a dilema. Do you grab a dozen bottles and give a nod to those crafty buggers who’ve done it again? Or do you shake your head and ask what kind of chump they take you for? And why does it matter either way?

A few reasons come to mind. No one wants to drink bad wine. So when you can afford to buy a wine which is twice the price you’d normally pay, it seems an offer too good to miss. In most people’s eyes, expensive wine equals fine wine. And anyway, it’s what supermarkets are famous for. “Stack it high, sell it cheap.”

But quantity and quality make odd bed fellows, especially in the world of wine. The more you pay for a wine, the more exclusivity you expect. It’s not fifty quid a bottle because they made shed loads of the stuff – quite the opposite. So how come there’s an endless supply of half price wine at supermarkets, and how is it they come in pairs – a red and a white? How convenient is that?

So the dilema remains. Grab it or leave it? And who can you ask for advice? Certainly not the people who work at supermarkets. They know less about wine than a government offical compiling a dossier on wmd.

But help is at hand (or a click of a mouse). For a heads up, read these articles: Richard Ehrlich in the Independent on Sunday, Victoria Moore in The Guardian and Joanna Simon in The Times. And, of course, there’s always Supermarketwine.com.

What’s your take on half price wine? And how do you decide which wine to buy at the supermarket? Join the debate.

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