Supermarket wines are just corking, say experts

the calibre of supermarket alcohol brands has been described as “phenomenal” by judges of a top award who said the days when consumers might be embarrassed to take such labels to a dinner party were “long gone”.

Gone are the days when we would drink supermarket wines with a hint of shame. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Gone are the days when we would drink supermarket wines with a hint of shame. Picture: Phil Wilkinson

Judges at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2014 awarded medals to 360 own-brand wines

A £5.25 Aldi sherry and a £6 Asda sauvignon blanc both picked up gold awards.

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Meanwhile, a leading consumer group claimed that discount retailers such as Aldi and Lidl are no longer regarded as just for the “cheap basics”, with both stocking products ranging from South American filter coffee to flour for breadmakers.

Good Housekeeping magazine found that budget supermarkets were slashing the cost of a range of high-end products as retailers “fall over themselves” to cater for middle-class tastes.

The magazine compiled a list of 19 seasonal products, ranging from a leg of lamb and Parma ham to pesto and asparagus, to compare prices across nine supermarkets – Aldi, Asda, Tesco, Morrisons, the Co-operative, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Lidl.

It found Lidl’s summer basket was the cheapest at £33.61, followed by Aldi’s at £34.01 and Asda at £38.65. The same basket cost £49.32 at Sainsbury’s, £51.16 at Waitrose and £52.59 at M&S.

A survey for the magazine found 53 per cent of shoppers have switched to cheaper stores or divided the shop between a supermarket and budget store since the recession.

More than 40 per cent shop regularly at Aldi and Lidl, 30 per cent visit Iceland once a fortnight and 56 per cent visit a £1 or 99p store at least once a month. Just 2 per cent said they would be too embarrassed to shop in discount stores.

Good Housekeeping consumer director Caroline Bloor said: “Since the recession, consumers are no longer embarrassed to be seen hunting out a bargain – and why would you be when you can save as much as £20 on the same basket of goods?”

IWC co-chairman Charles Metcalfe said: “The calibre of wines from the supermarket own-brand ranges has been phenomenal this year, and it is great to see them picking up top prizes across all styles. Each year the quality of the supermarket own-brand wines gets better.”