Who knows where wine prices will settle when the current round of inflation finally levels out?
I certainly have no definitive answers, but I will happily share my best guess.
We know that UK wine prices have been almost unsustainably low for some time.
Consequently, current rises in general grocery prices could well prove to be the catalyst for a modest correction.
Indeed, it is already happening – with, I sense, upward wine price movement in Aldi, Lidl and Morrisons.
If that is what it takes to preserve quality levels, I don’t feel that we should argue too much.
I taste more entry point wines than most – and the number of low-cost wines I reject as “unrecommendable” is rising sharply.
Finding sound, typical and reliable wine starting with a “5” is becoming something of a lottery.
The sweet spot seems to centre on a list price around the £7 – £8 mark with occasional promotions offering discounts of a pound (and sometimes two).
Both of today’s Top Tips seem to confirm that conclusion.
So, head over to read about them now – one has a background story of talented producers defying (or, at least, evading) the Goliath of bureaucracy.
The images and hyperlinks provided should help you to find them in crowded displays.
Rich, smooth malbec from experienced hands
2021 Tesco Finest Argentinian Malbec (£6 – instead of £8 until 18 June – for Tesco Clubcard holders and 13.5% abv):
Indulge in the richness of this exquisite malbec, crafted for Tesco by a renowned Argentinian winemaker.
Its velvety smoothness and delicate touch of sweetness will win it many friends.
Enjoy, in particular, the flavours of its of ripe, dark berry components complemented by subtle smoky and herbal nuances, carefully balanced by hints of oak and gentle tannins.
When breaking the rules pays off.
The Guv’nor Vino Blanco (from £6.99 at Majestic):
Frequently, winemaking involves the art of blending, but regions often have strict regulations controlling the proportions and varieties that can be used there.
Transgress them, and you are obliged to use that area’s lowest classification regardless of the quality of the actual wine.
Occasionally, however, producers accept that downside because they are so confident of the quality of their “non-compliant” wine.
This idiosyncratic blend of verdejo, sauvignon, and chardonnay is one such wine.
Its characteristics begin with tantalizing chalky aromas, unfolding into a symphony of nutty apple, melon, and pear flavours.
Pursuing the musical analogies, these are harmonised by vibrant orange acidity, all supported by a backdrop of sage and fennel notes.
This Thursday’s post contains the usual mix of Sunday Best, Friday Treat wines for times that demand a modest step up from the UK equivalent of vin ordinaire.
Subscribe for FREE!
Do you want every review I write, direct to your inbox, absolutely free?