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This week’s top tips and current promotions

A zippy Sauvignon and a smoky Claret are my top supermarket picks this week. Don't forget, you can also save 25% on your favourite Waitrose wines. See below for details of the offer but be quick, it ends tomorrow.

2019 Cimarosa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc (£5.99 at Lidl):

A chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc can hit the spot on a summer evening but some low-priced versions contain little more than piercing acidity and one dimensional gooseberry fruit.

This guy does have assertive lime acidity but – unusually for a £6 wine – that zippiness is backed up by white peach, apple and grapefruit components and a herbal mellowness.

2018 Tesco Claret (£5 at Tesco):

Presentable £5 Claret is rare, and obviously will never rival Bordeaux’s superstars, but this is a sound and reliable version made by a well-established operator.

Find it here on Tesco's site

It contains cherry and bramble fruit, good acidity, minimal tannin and the savoury, smoky background typical of the region.


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Current promotions

Don’t forget, the Waitrose 25% off deal ends tomorrow. You can save 25% on all wine and Champagne priced £5 and over when purchasing six or more bottles. The offer is on in-store and online at and

Tune in again this Thursday for a look at the new mid-price wine range arriving in M&S stores soon.


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Dave Cronin

Hi Brian,
I first tasted the Tesco Claret a few years ago and as you say it was ok for the price but you would often find it hidden away on the bottom shelf, not tried it for a while now, so will pick up a bottle again and give it a go.
Waitrose do a reasonable Claret on their own blueprint label and they also do a ‘Good Ordinary Claret’. I remember when Berry Bros & Rudd’s ‘Good Ordinary Claret’ was all the rage and it was pretty decent at a reasonable price, checking it out now the price has climbed to around £11, obviously a success but a shame they couldn’t keep it a an Ordinary price, sign of the times!

Brian Elliott

Agree that the Waitrose version is pretty sound. Obviously neither the Waitrose nor Tesco versions are complex and ultra sophisticated but both provide a reliable bottom rung to the ladder that eventually leads to the stars.

Edward Walker

Hi Brian
Dave Cronin and myself regularly discuss important issues … like where can we get decent claret for not a lot of dosh!!!!! Anyway, not being a Tesco shopper very often these days when my wife said she needed some items from there I asked her to get me a couple of bottles of the claret you recommend here. Naturally it can not be expected that they will be anything other than acceptable drinking … for this money, but I’m quite happy to test the water! The thing is … she picked up two different capsule colours, black as well as the red in your pic. That red one is 2019 and the black …. 2018! Should be interesting to try them side by side.

Brian Elliott

It was the 2018 that I based the recommendation on so I would be very interested to hear how you find the new vintage. You are right to “manage expectations” with your “acceptable drinking” yardstick but I thought it was a nicely crafted, (obviously) merlot dominated, example of everyday Bordeaux – but Ch Lafite need not start worrying yet!

Edward Walker

Hi again Brian
I think the ”black capsule” 2018 has it by a short head! It’s a tad softer and a little more rounded. Is that bottle aging at work and will the 2019 gain that slight improvement in time too? I found both very acceptable, enjoyed its medium-body when so much red these days is leaning towards a fuller character, but not lacking in alcohol at 13% abv , ripe fruit and yes a hint of that typical Bordeaux leafyness, to my mind. Given that Tesco do a 25% off buy-6 every so often I’d be very happy to have a few of these at £3.75!!!

Brian Elliott

Thanks ever so much for the update Eddie and I suspect (as you suggest) that age will round out the 2019 a bit – althought neither wine is designed for a long life. Last year was a drier year than normal so that may affect things. For a comprehensive review of the 2019 year take a look at this post on Jancis Robinson’s excellent website.

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