The Sour Grape

Supermarket Roulette: An Introduction


Buying wine from a Supermarket… a gamble at the best of times.

(or… the art of buying cheap wine and getting away with it!)

Now, I’m fully aware that I said I was going to start off this blog with some recommendations first and foremost and I will, however…

I felt that before I started posting articles recommending great wines to try, I should talk briefly about the dangers of buying wine from supermarkets.

There are many people in the wine industry that will tell you to never buy wine from a supermarket and while I don’t agree with them, I do agree with most of the points they raise!

  • Supermarkets do over-inflate the price of wine to make their special offers look like great deals.
  • Supermarkets often don’t have trained staff who can advise you on what you should buy (even if they pretend like they do).
  • Supermarkets often can’t guarantee their wine has been stored properly.

The list goes on and while I understand their points of view… I also think these are points to keep in mind rather than reasons not to buy from Supermarkets.

I also agree there are many advantages to buying from wine specialists, the least of which being you’ll have access to a far bigger (and better) range of quality wines and the advice of professionals to help you choose between them.

But when a Supermarket is selling a wine you know is good at a price you can’t believe… is there any reason not to buy it?


Buy one, go home and try it and if it’s as good as it should be, go back and buy some more (feeling justifiably smug all the way!)

Some times a bargain is just that… a bargain.

Does it matter if the Supermarket paid less than market value for the consignment of wine in the first place?

Or that they don’t necessarily know what it is they have?

Or that the wine has come from a country, wine producing region and vineyard that isn’t on anyone’s radar and because of that costs a fraction of other wines?


Good wine is good wine no matter how little you pay for it… and poor wine is poor wine no matter how much you pay for it.

Just remember that every purchase is slightly more of a gamble from a supermarket than it might be if you bought from a wine merchant… if potentially cheaper because of it.

With that in mind… the next few ‘Supermarket Roulette’ articles will be recommendations grouped into the places I bought them from. So wines from the Co-Op, Wines from Tesco…

I’ll expand into wines I’ve tried and enjoyed from Wine Merchants later, but I’m fully aware that most of you will be closer to any given Supermarket than you will a wine merchant apart from potentially Majestic Wines and I’ll be sure to recommend plenty from them as I have one on my street!

First up: ‘Great wines from the Co-Op’

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