It’s time to get up to speed on what is happening in the world of supermarket wine promotions – but today’s post does so in monochrome!
My Sunrise and Sunset colouring to pinpoint new and expiring promotions has not – what shall I say – attracted universal support, so today’s post omits it altogether.
Feel free to join any “to tint or not to tint” debate.
As for content, the usual summary of promotions is joined by the recently introduced Optimising Opportunities segment which, today, links a revised classification system with improved value for money.
Once again, where possible hyperlinks and pictures help you target the right bottle on a display or website.
Wine classification is not the most riveting read but bear with me gentle reader; broad sunlit uplands await you on the other side.
For years, sales of France’s basic Vin de Table category wines were in decline.
So, ten or so years ago, a revised French classification system replaced it.
The lowest level became Vin de France to sit below the system’s middle category (IGP) and the (top) AOP category.
Unlike the other two, Vin de France is not constrained by fixed geographic limits and is largely free of the strict specifications that apply further up the hierarchy.
Sceptics saw this liberalisation as, principally, a benefit for the large-scale producers of branded wines.
However, other (positive) benefits have emerged too.
Combining grapes from different regions can certainly help create more consistent and complex wine.
But, because prices can be lower in less fashionable areas, it can also maximise value for money.
Best of all, though, it can save the day when weather conditions seriously reduce quantities and quality in specific areas – as happened with the late frosts and wet spring of 2021.
So, let’s see this in practice
Sainsbury’s latest promotion contains a chardonnay by an acclaimed Burgundy producer but sold with a Vin de France classification.
I assume that the plan is to use the freedoms that category permits to allow a Burgundian style chardonnay to be created at an accessible price in a tricky year.
And, the plan works!
Better still, it is featured here because the wine is currently on offer – allowing you to decide for yourself whether the strategy floats your boat without spending too much money.
Fragrant and suitably textured, 2020 Bouchard Aine & Fils Chardonnay (£7 – instead of £8 until 5 April – at Sainsbury’s and 12.5%) certainly appeals to me.
It delivers white peach and cooked apple flavours with zippy acidity, hints of honey and toffee, vanilla based butteriness and lees-based depth.
Do try it and see what you think.
Returning to the Round Up of Promotions.
Buy 6 deals
Sainsbury’s have a “Buy 6, save 25%” deal that started yesterday and runs to 27 March. As usual check the website for limitations as it will not apply throughout the UK or in smaller stores – and may finish a day early if you are buying online.
Other new promotions
Two new sets of offers to report (in the usual chart below) this week although parts of the Sainsbury’s promotion have been covered already.
The Waitrose promotion is its usual extensive self but, in the past, I have been impressed by the pinot noir mentioned in the chart.
Romania’s Sorcova Pinot Noir seems to open with classic rose centred aromas that lead enticingly into cherry, plum and red currant flavours and traces of clove.
The Morrisons and Co-op deals mentioned last week are still in place.
With floral aromas yet a vague flintiness, The Best Gruner Veltliner from Morrisons impressed me last summer with its apple and grapefruit flavours supported by good lime acidity, floral aromas and slightly spicy texture.
It is currently reduced by £1 to £7.50 if you fancy giving it a try.
A few old friends from M&S and from Tesco will expire before the next one of these posts and that includes the £1 reduction (to £6) on Tesco’s Finest Passerina.
In the past, it has won many friends here and with Decanter through its zingy, aromatic, ripe melon flavours enlivened by sharp tangerine and sherbet acidity
We’ll be back on Monday folks with our customary pair of Top Tips – and then, again on Thursday with a look at the Wine Tour promotion that is just about to begin at Lidl.
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