A new promotion starts in Asda tomorrow and runs through to 6 November but do check prices carefully before you hit the check out as this retailer does review and revise its promotions regularly.
Tomorrow’s list contains just under 150 reductions that bring selected prices down to somewhere between £5 and £8 – but most of the content is branded wines (nine McGuigan options for example).
I have, however, picked out a red and a white own label wine that I can recommend plus something not on offer but great value in my book.
Also today you can find our Best of the Rest choices, the Sunset Corner alerts about closing promotions and a Top Tip with a bit of a warning.
As ever, do use the pictures provided to guide you towards the wine in question in a crowded wine display.
Fruits of a good harvest
Despite a far from easy year all round, the resilient garganega (mainstay grape of soave) seems to have done well in 2018 and impressive versions of Soave are now reaching our stores; this is one of them.
For an interesting insight into that region and, in particular, what the ‘Sentinels of Soave’ are doing to maintain quality levels take a look at this detailed piece on The Buyers excellent website.
Smooth and nicely textured, 2018 Extra Special Soave (£5.50 – instead of £6.25 – at Asda and 12.5% abv) has spicy apple and pear fruit with a fennel and almond backdrop that contrasts neatly with its lime and orange acidity.
From Scottish inspiration
When a Scot – John Riddoch – planted vines on the reddish-brown topsoil (over a layer of soft limestone) in South Australia’s Coonawarra, he started a process that nowadays produces some of the finest cabernet sauvignon.
For an inexpensive introduction to the area's prowess, seek out the full and ripe 2018 Extra Special Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon (£6 – instead of £7 – and 14.5%) with savoury edged plum and blackberry fruit, good acidity, touches of vanilla and clove but only soft tannin.
And now for on-going fare
Although not on offer, I was impressed by this brilliantly priced example of another thoroughly modern German white made, this time, in the massive Pfalz region where the noble riesling is slowly replacing the inferior varieties of old.
One result is the light 2018 Winemaker’s Choice Riesling (£4.75 at Asda and 11%) where smooth but fresh green apple fruit titillates the taste buds and is made the more attractive by being set against an appealing spicy background.
BEST OF THE REST
Out of misfortune …..
Jumilla in south eastern Spain – this organic red’s homeland – was devasted by the phylloxera vineyard disease 30 years ago but the consequent replanting actually triggered a step change in quality, as this great value option illustrates.
2017 Pacheco Organic Monastrell (£7.99 at Waitrose but sometimes on offer – and 14.5%) uses the region’s principal grape, monastrell (aka mourvedre) to create sturdy wine containing cherry, plum and mulberry fruit with good acidity supplemented by menthol, pepper and clove depth but only limited tannin.
A revival is under way
Muscadet, from France’s Loire estuary has been off the radar for a while but recent vintages have been increasingly successful helped, some might argue, by climate change – but skilled winemaking also plays a part.
The great value 2017 Calvet Muscadet (£5.95 at Sainsbury’s and 11.5%) illustrates these improvements brilliantly with smooth but textured pear and lemon fruit, lime-based acidity and those distinctive saline edges the region does so well.
The current Co-op promotion ends next week (on 15 October) so here are some of the deals available in their stores. As usual, offers are only available while stocks last, so the price quoted in any specific store is the final word.
Also bear in mind that the wines are listed here for information and, unlike wines mentioned elsewhere on this site, are not necessarily endorsements for the product.
- Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja – Down to £6.85 from £8.85
- Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc – Down to £7.50 from £9.50
- Hereford Tempranillo – Down to £5 from £7
- Las Moras Shiraz – Down to £5 from £7
- Yali Wild Swan Merlot – Down to £5.50 from £7.50
- Yali Wild Swan Sauvignon Blanc – Down to £5.50 from £7.50
- Coeur de Cardeline Rosé – Down to £7 from £9
- Corte Molino Prosecco – Down to £7 from £8.50
- Barefoot Merlot– Down to £6 from £7
- La Vieille Ferme Rosé – Down to £6.75 from £7.75
- Miraval Studio Rosé – Down to £11 from £12
- Most Wanted Albarino – Down to £7.50 from £8.50
- Villa Longobardi Chianti – Down to £7.75 from £8.75
- The Interlude Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc – Down to £6.50 from £7
Currency issues mean you should stand ready to pay a little more for enjoyable everyday wine
Even before “deal or no deal” Brexit (with the potential for tariffs) is clarified, wine prices are beginning to rise.
The main cause so far is the value of the pound because a good deal of wine is priced in Euros or US dollars.
In the last three years the pound has fallen by double digit percentages against both those currencies – with the inevitable effect on the price of imported goods such as wine.
In that time, the average price for a bottle of wine has risen by around 5% from £5.40 to £5.68.
Rising prices are also clear higher up the ladder where the acceptable quality wine up to £10 that I need for one newspaper column is becoming increasingly scarce.
It is not just a question of having to pay a bit more however; there are other aspects to the equation.
To keep within existing price points I fancy that some suppliers are sacrificing quality.
In seeking wines to recommend, I work on a 3:1 basis – assembling and assessing three wines for any one available spot.
One of the three (often not the predictable one) has usually proved to be the stand out option – while another is adequate if not breathtakingly brilliant.
The last one, sadly, frequently fails to make the required quality level.
By and large, that has consistently been the situation for the last ten years – but in recent months I have found myself rejecting all three candidates, especially at lower price points.
If I were a self-publicist, I would now be saying that this is why sites like this are currently more important than ever!
In all seriousness though, it is becoming more and more difficult to find entry-point wines that can be recommended.
That is true even for folk like me who spend many waking hours searching for them.
I fear that the average drinker will soon have no choice but to bite the bullet and seriously consider trading up to a slightly higher price level.
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