Many a bad wine has been whisked last minute from a local supermarket shelf: let my speedy guide spare you the pain.
The quick dart into a convenience store for supper and a bottle of wine does not usually find us at our best. [...]
So I thought I'd do some of the work for you, by picking wines to try from the shelves of Tesco Express and Metro; Sainsbury's Local; Little Waitrose and M & S Simply Food stores. For extra authenticity, I went into the shops at the end of a working day, tired and cross, and chose wines partly by looking for whatever attractive label/good price combination might appeal if I knew nothing (and a few that I knew ought to be good). The ones that stood out – for bad as well as good reasons – are listed here.
Before I let the tasting notes speak for themselves, a word on price. Almost all these wines cost more in the small convenience outlets than in the main supermarket. Retailers say that this reflects the extra cost of running smaller local stores which often have longer opening hours, but I find some of those hikes – particularly the M & S ones – a little hard to swallow.
School report: Some good, solid wines and performing better at the £5 end of things than I'd expected.
- Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2011 Italy (12.5%,(12.5%, £5.85/£5.59) - Good. A clean, fresh verdant white that has a bit of grip, like grape skins. Super with food. Drank this with antipasti, including the River Café brown lentils and ricotta with rocket recipe. A real hit.
- Italian Red Rich, Intense 2011 Puglia, Italy (12.5%, £5.22/£4.99)
- Spanish Dry white aromatic & citrus NV Spain (12%, £5.22/£4.99)
- Fief Guérin Vieilles Vignes Muscadet Côtes de Grandlieu 2011 France (12%, £7.83/£7.49)