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5 mistakes to avoid when buying supermarket wine

Supermarket wine offers excellent value and increasingly high-quality options for buyers. Many supermarkets have such a wide range of wines to choose from that it can sometimes be overwhelming.

Quality varies a lot too, so how do you choose which wines to go for? Here are some common mistakes that many people make when you buy supermarket wines.

5 easy mistakes to avoid when buying supermarket wine

  • Don’t be a wine snob

If you usually buy wine through a specialist wine merchant, you might be reluctant to try a supermarket wine. They’re often perceived to be more cheaply produced and of lower quality. And while this can be the case on occasion, it’s not the general rule. 

In fact, supermarkets are constantly working hard to find some great deals for their customers. You’re unlikely to find any investment grade vintages from Bordeaux on your local supermarket shelves any time soon. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still pick up some decent wines that are both affordable and good quality.

  • Don’t skip on research and note taking

There are plenty of resources available for anyone who wants to find out more about wine. Our own investment guide is a great start if you want to build a portfolio of collectable wines, so take a look.

And when it comes to supermarket wines, our advice is do your research and keep track of the wines you try. Experiment with different regions, grape varieties and producers. Websites like Vivino are great for exploring new wines and for recording your experience with them.

  • Don’t choose a wine based solely on the front label

It’s easy to be fooled by a label that seems to fit your idea of the wine you imagine is in the bottle, rather than the reality. The image on the front of the bottle is generally just marketing. For useful information about the wine, read the label on the back.

The information on the back label can be very useful. There should be basic tasting notes, information about where the wine is produced and its maker. As you get to know the kind of wines you like, this information will help you choose the best options.

  • Don’t be fooled by big discounts

How often do you grab a bottle of wine off the shelf because the price is reduced? While buying an £8 bottle of wine for £5 might feel like a good deal, it can be a mistake.

Paying a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean you’re buying a better-quality wine. As a general rule, any wine priced below £5 probably isn’t worth your time and money. It’s worth remembering that just over £2 goes to the Government in tax, which doesn’t leave much for a decent wine.

Consider why the wine is discounted. Is the retailer simply struggling to shift their unsold stock or is it because it’s below par? Use your research and tasting notes to build a profile of wines you like and use this to judge each offer on its own merits. If it’s a vintage or a producer you love and the price is right, then go for it.

  • Don’t forget buying online

Don’t restrict your supermarket wine choices to the shelf at your local Aldi or Sainsbury’s. Check out the different supermarket websites, as their online range is likely to be wider than in your local store.

The other advantage of buying wine online is the review section. Read what other wine lovers make of different bottles and experiment with something different. Don’t forget to leave your own thoughts too once you’ve tried them.


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