Newspapers abound with stories of folk cutting back currently with some reports suggesting that more than half of us expect to reduce spending on alcohol in 2023.
I fully understand why, but today’s landscape is complicated.
Firms, too, face increased prices, not least for power.
By reducing costs to meet them, service levels or production quality may be similarly reduced.
So, as far as wine is concerned, I have a few suggestions:
- Be flexible on what you buy. Your favourite brand may no longer be what it was – especially when vintages change.
- Ride the offers. Find something you like and stock up when “Buy 6 …” promotions surface.
- Consider “cost neutral” changes by buying fewer bottle over time but increase the price per bottle to “drink better – but less”.
- That said, expect prices to rise a bit anyway – an increasing number of “Bargain Basement” wines are not good enough to be recommended here.
Meanwhile, I will tease out good value options wherever I can find them, but the challenges do intensify with each passing month.
The images and hyperlinks provided here should help you to navigate crowded displays to find the wines I do recommend though.
A consistently good, core range option
2022 Cimarosa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (£6.99 at Lidl and 12% abv)
When in Lidl raking through the latest Wine Tour offerings, do not ignore the retailer’s core ranges.
This example from that range has been consistently good and manages to preserve that quality level in the latest available vintage.
Assertive with significant depth, it neatly builds on its lime centred acidity by supporting it with attractive ginger and apple blossom touches.
All that is partnered by a cocktail of flavours that include greengage, pithy orange, ripe melon and crunchy apple elements.
N.B. I sense that the Lidl website may not have caught up with the most recent price change.
Puglia bang on form
2021 Taste the Difference Primitivo (£6.50 – instead of £7 until 6 February – at Sainsbury’s and 13.5%):
Although the previous vintage of this Italian red received a thumbs down on Sainsbury’s website, no one can justifiably quibble with the 2021 version I tasted.
It displays all the flavour, versatility and nuttiness you expect of classic primitivo from Puglia.
Dark with savoury bite, the wine is centred around smooth and typical bramble and plum flavours.
That foundation is combined with gentle tannin (but firm acidity) along with suggestions of almonds, pepper and oregano.
This Thursday’s post uses Sunday Best and Friday Treat selections to enhance the quality of your “drink-at-home instead of going out” options.
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