Shopping for high quality wine on the supermarket shelves can be something of a minefield, but Sam Caporn MW, who works with Aldi on its wine club, has revealed five insider tricks to help you sniff out the best supermarket bargain wines.
Yes, Sam Caporn MW – the self-styled Mistress of Wine – and winner of the Madam Bollinger medal, has revealed how to get the best bargain supermarket wine to excite your palate without breaking the bank.
So how do I find the best bargain supermarket wines?
1. Do your research
Sam points out that Aldi’s wines start at just £2.99, but spend under a pound more and you can get your hands on award-winning plonk. Aldi’s Grapevine Range is still definitely budget, with prices starting from just £3.69, and it boasts award wins to its name. “These wines been known to win big at prestigious wine awards,
competing against wines three or four times the price,” Sam Caporn said.
2. Search high and low
Bottles are often stacked on shelves according to price, meaning that (as long as you have taken note of point one and done your research) the best bargain supermarket wines may well be found lower on the shelf.
“Wines are displayed according to price, making it easier to see that the higher up the bottle, the higher the price tier of the product, so the lowest priced bottles are located on the lower shelves,” Caporn explained.
3. Be open-minded with the region
It is tempting to stick to well-known wine producing regions that we have enjoyed in the past when shopping for the best supermarket wine. But by ditching the idea that only certain regions are going to yield the best quality, instead seek out styles you have enjoyed in the past from wine producing regions you may not have tried before.
For example, “rather than a Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, for example, try a Sauvignon from Chile,” Sam suggested.
“By swapping to less illustrious regions, bargains can be found.”
4. Look out for the best seasonal offers
Christmas and Easter are well known for their booze deals (particularly on Champagne), but it’s worth checking out offers around other days such as Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, according to Sam Caporn MW.
“Occasionally, the price of bottles are dropped around seasonal calendar dates such as Easter and Valentine’s Day,” she explained.
Again, it’s worth doing your homework to see just how much prices are being slashed compared to their usual retail price.
5. Make use of supermarket website tools
There is no shortage of information online about specific bottles of wine and their varying qualities. If you’re shopping online, you can also leverage supermarket website tools to your advantage, as Sam explained:
“Another useful hack for those shopping for wines online is to use the ‘sort by’ tool on the Aldi UK website to show not just the cheapest wines, but also the ‘highest rating’ wines.” That’s a good formula for a bargain.
You could also look out for bottles that feature the coveted seal of approval from the drinks business from one of our Masters tastings. A panel of experts comprising Masters of Wine and sommeliers blind taste test wines from all over the world in a rigorous and highly-regarded tasting format.
Find out more about our Masters competitions here.