Why supermarket wines aren’t always the deal they seem

Head into your local supermarket and wander towards the wine aisle. What do you see?

Hundreds of bottles lined up on shelves: the wall of wine.

How can you make an informed choice? Usually, the only buying guide will be brightly coloured labels displaying special offers. £2 off, 1/3 off, or even half-price! These have got to be good deals, haven’t they?

Everyone likes a bargain, but in reality most of these special offers aren’t the deal that they seem. It has become common for supermarkets to work with enhanced margins, so that they can regularly run these offers and still make money on the wine. Most supermarket wines are bought very cheaply indeed, at or even below a Euro a bottle from the producer. Some are bulk shipped in large tanks and then bottled in the UK. But these cheap wines, which with normal margins would be around £5 a bottle, are frequently priced at £8. Or even higher.

The worst example is what are known as trade drivers or tactical brands. These are deliberately designed with half price offers in mind. For example, they’d be £5 wines, priced at £10, and then at regular intervals offered at half price. If you bought one of these out of the offer period – and they are often dressed up to look expensive – then you’d be wasting a lot of money.

The supermarkets do stock some good inexpensive wines that are honestly priced, but the problem is, how does the ordinary shopper find these in the wall of wine?

The Perfect Cellar (110 Posts)

Offering an unparalleled array of fine, classic & unique wines of exquisite quality. The Perfect Cellar helps you understand your taste. Rebecca is the admin for the blog and she writes about food and wine matching as well as events and products.


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