Some wines are always on offer in supermarkets, or at least it seems that way. But are they worth their ‘full price’ or are endless special offers conning us into believing we’re getting a great deal?
When we asked wine expert Charles Metcalfe to blindly taste wines from the top five selling wine brands in the UK (Blossom Hill, First Cape, Ernest & Julio Gallo, Hardys and Lindemans) we found most weren’t worth their full price.
Of the 10 wines tasted only one would have been worth buying at full price – Hardys Stamp of Australia Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon. This was good value at its full price of £6.49, as Charles estimated it to cost £6.99.
The true worth of wine
Using data from mysupermarket.com we tracked the price of these 10 wines across 2010 in Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado. At their highest prices these wines cost from £5.99 to £8.99 in these supermarkets, but Charles estimated their cost at between £4.99 and £6.99.
First Cape First Selection Shiraz Cabernet Sauvignon was £8.99 at full price, but at other times was on a three for £10 offer. Charles estimated this wine to cost £4.99.
Similarly, Hardys Chardonnay costs £7.98 at full price but was on offer for three for £10 – less than half price. Charles estimated the cost of this wine as £5.99.
Should you shun supermarket wines?
Of course if you like these brands and they’re on offer, such as three for £10, you’re getting a good deal. But if they’re full price then they’re probably not worth it.
So how do you choose wine – do you stick to the same wines or just go for those on offer? How much do you tend to spend on a bottle? Can you tell the difference in a £5 bottle and a £15 one?
I’m no wine buff – I recently used a £25 bottle of dessert wine in a risotto as I didn’t think the label looked very nice. We now have a system at home where ‘special occasion’ wines are kept on the top shelf of the wine rack and the bottom shelf can be used freely!
I tend not to buy wine in supermarkets; if I need a bottle I go into our local wine shop and ask for advice. These findings mean I won’t be changing my ways in a hurry.