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Ian Wade
November 2016.
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How can I choose the best wines in the supermarket?
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Just seven per cent of us will spend more than £10 on a bottle of wine in a supermarket, but when there are so many deals and offers why spend more? 

The biggest problem isn't cost but the dizzying array of choice in the wine aisles. Daunting if you don't know your Beaujolais from your Bordeaux. Be picky about the supermarket. Waitrose and Marks & Spencer win industry-recognised awards for being the best supermarket retailers, and Booths stores up North do amazing deals, like a free bottle of wine for every six you buy, bringing the cost down and allowing you to shop around. 

I would stay away from wines for which the price has been reduced. Often those reductions aren't a reflection of the way the wine was originally priced. Supermarkets inflate prices of cheap wines to then bring them down as an 'offer' and hence make a high margin. To narrow the choice down I tend to look for wines from classic regions, rather than a more general provenance. If the label says it's 'wine of Australia' the winemakers are pulling in grapes from all over Australia, and often using the lowest quality fruit. Whereas if it's from Victoria in South Australia, those grapes only come from the wine region of Victoria and tend to be of a better quality, showing some kind of regional identity. I like wines to transport me somewhere and say 'this is what my region tastes like'. 

Cheaper wines can be good from supermarkets because they buy classic wines in bulk and price match with each other, meaning you get a better price. So at Morrisons you can get Grand Marque champagne for £15 a bottle and vintage champagne at £25 a bottle, which is amazing –it's worth taking those classic tradition offers very seriously.