The year in supermarket wine

Article date: 27 January 2012

Collection of corks with years

As we look ahead to 2012, and expect a surge of English wines in this Olympic year, we thought we’d look back at how well last year went.

The supermarket or high street retailer with the most reviews (nearly 200) was Majestic. Of all the major retailers, it consistently has the best range. A few of its star turns (wines that were reviewed most often) were Blind River Sauvignon Blanc, Quinta de Azevedo Vinho Verde 2010, Sistina Pecorino 2010 Terre di Chieti, Domaine les Yeuses ‘Les Epices’ Syrah 2009 and the Rioja Reserva ViƱa Eguia 2005.

The winner of the ‘own label’ category goes to Tesco’s Finest range, which, with 61 reviews, came in just ahead of Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. Tesco is the largest wine retailer in the world. It’s a volume operation, but, to its credit it has opened up the fine wine world to supermarket customers and it still manages to find quality wines that meet its volume needs.

Once again, Banrock Station Sparkling Shiraz recieved the most comments. It’s a much loved and much missed wine. And it still remains unclear just why it’s not being stocked over here.

Probably (and this is obviously open to debate), the outstanding white wine of 2011 was Triade Bianco 2010. As Olly Smith said, “I love this wine… It offers all the glory of Italy’s refreshing and characterful grapes…” The other wines worth mentioning are the Taste the Difference sherrys. According to Victoria Moore, the “TTD range of sherry is truly spectacular”. We’d love to hear what you think were the outstanding supermarket wines of 2011.

Sadly, 2011 was the year we said goodbye to Owned by Booths, it was never a great website, though it was perfunctory and there was something to be admired by its ambition to sell – as it said on the tin – every wine.

Lastly, a special mention for Waitrose. As said earlier there may well be a surge in English wine as the Olympic Games get closer. Waitrose now list nearly 50 English wines. That shows real support and bodes well for the English wine industry.


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