Once the “half price” wine promotions lost traction with the public, major retailers were seeking another wine related attraction to draw in customers.
Used at first by Sainsbury’s, “25% off multi-buy” promotions have slowly filled that gap.
Many (possibly most) of the big players now use them for limited periods sometimes in conjunction with existing offers (Sainsbury’s), sometimes not (Waitrose) and sometimes somewhere between the two (“on selected items”).
Their advantage for consumers is that they allow canny shoppers to schedule their purchasing to optimise what they get for their money.
A disadvantage, though, is that muti-buys deals are illegal in some parts of the UK.
Either way, however, a new “25% off promotion” does start in Asda this morning and runs through to 29 August.
And, to align it with Day 1 of that promotion, this post was delayed for 24 hours from its usual Thursday spot, but remember the different arrangements that apply in Scotland and Wales.
But where next for promotions initiatives?
Well, all year Tesco have been restricting their wine offers to Clubcard holders which is undoubtedly being watched closely, so perhaps promotions linked to loyalty cards could be extended to other retailers.
Meanwhile, enjoy the usual melange of special occasion wines, Friday treats and news of promotions that, together, populate the second MidWeek Wines web post of the week.
To help identify the wines featured with greater precision, hyperlinks and pictures have again been used.
Friday Night Treat
“Field blends” are a clever name for an arrangement that seems to go way back in winemaking history – especially in Portugal and Spain.
In the days before wine production became a precise science, when a vine died it was often replaced with whatever was handy – regardless of variety.
Consequently, over time, some vineyards became a patchwork of grapes with genuine uncertainty over exactly what wine will be produced in any one year.
Varieties that excelled last year may not ripen at all this year, and vice versa.
So, there is often an almost romantic feel about what will emerge from the yield in one of these vineyards.
However, the 2020 vintage of La Mancha’s Campo Bonito Blanco (£9.99 at Virgin Wines) is a great illustration of a successful field blend.
After an aromatic opening with growing intensity, it delivers soft apple, orange and white plum flavours along with sherbet acidity and a background sweetness within a slightly peachy texture.
If you are looking for an upgrade from gentle and pleasant, medium bodied, raspberry based “entry point” malbec, then read on.
This comes from a very dry part of Argentina’s Mendoza region and neatly illustrates how a group of vines struggling with poor soil condition can often result in especially intense fruit.
Dark in colour and dense, 2019 Malbado Malbec (£12 – instead of £14 at Asda and 14.5%) has a centrepiece of rich loganberry, cherry and plum fruit coupled with a softness that is surprising in such powerful wine.
That foundation is supplemented by traces of thyme, sage and liquorice with chocolate elements to add a sense of richness.
Sunday Best Bonus while in Asda
Instead of a Star Buy from promotions, I decided to offer a Sunday best bonus today.
First, though, a bit of background.
Despite being from different grape varieties, there are flavour similarities (cherry and herbs in particular) between Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino.
Indeed, many lovers of Italian red wines will argue vociferously about which of these iconic wines is the better.
However, to give a sense of what Brunello is about, a lower-level appellation (Rosso di Montalcino) was created involving much shorter maturation periods and a lighter style, but still made exclusively from sangiovese.
2018 Extra Special Rosso Di Montalcino (currently £14 – instead of £17 – at Asda and 14%) is one of those “junior” versions and certainly displays those dried herbs and cherry elements.
In addition, though, it exhibits clove aromas, firm tannin, smooth raspberry and plum stone flavours integrated into a savoury finish that embodies smoky and nutty influences.
Here, then, is a good opportunity to judge whether this style is for you.
However, I am not sure whether these wines are within the “25% off” deals, so do check before committing yourself.
Still a bit of distance to run on the Waitrose and Sainsbury’s promotions, I featured last week as these do not end until 30 August, so drop back there for more details.
The Co-op promotion that started this week includes £2 off Co-op Les Pionniers Rosé Champagne and £3 off Taylor's Select Reserve Port as well as reductions on no fewer than three Riojas.
These deals remain live until 6 September but remember that not everything is available in every Co-op branch, but the store finder on their website may help locate a particular bottle.
Meanwhile, over at Tesco the latest promotion ends a day earlier (on 5 September) and includes reductions on five Trivento wines (£4 off the Golden Reserve Malbec and £2 off the others) with a red and white from the Yalumba Y Series coming down to £7.
I do not yet have full details of the new promotions in Morrisons.
Call in again on Monday when I reveal my latest Top Tips on “Under £8” offerings that give drinkers of ordinary wine exceptional value for money.
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