Do you always reach for the big brands when buying wines and spirits in the supermarket? You might be missing out by ignoring own-label drinks, according to our latest taste test.
Results from our expert-led taste tests of wine and gin show that the best supermarket own-label alcohol can hold its own against leading brands, and in some cases it’s noticeably better.
In the gin and white wine taste tests, brands such as Gordon’s and Oxford Landing were pushed down the table – all the Best Buys were own-label. And even when the brands did come out on top, our experts found plenty to like about the supermarkets’ products.
Buying supermarket own-label gin
I think there can still be a stigma around buying own-label, particularly for wine – people worry they might be thought of as cheap if they bring a supermarket wine to a dinner party. Based on the design on their labels, supermarkets themselves seem to agree – in some cases you really have to squint closely before you can make out ‘Asda’ or ‘The Co-operative’ in tiny font.
I’ve never been loyal to a particular drinks brand. I’ve preferred Lidl gin to Gordon’s for a while now – I started off buying it just because it was cheaper, but quickly realised that I liked the taste at least as much, if not more. Since then, I’ve found more expensive branded gins that tasted a bit better, but for a gin & tonic with a slice of lemon and plenty of ice, Lidl gin does the job perfectly well for me.
Generally, if you compared a premium drink to something that’s much cheaper, I expect you’d notice the difference in quality. But for drinks in the same price bracket, our research shows that you shouldn’t dismiss what the supermarkets have to offer.
Is there a particular wine or spirit brand that you swear by, or have you found own-label bargains too?