Tesco Finest Peumo CarmenÃ¨re, Cachapoal, Chile 2019 (Â£ 8, Tesco) Over the past few years, Tesco’s dominance of the UK grocery market has survived all manner of threats both external (the rise of Aldi and Lidl) and internal (a damaging accounting scandal and a record loss of Â£ 6. Â£ 4 billion in the UK in 2015). Its scale and ubiquitousness means most of us shop there every now and then, whether it’s shopping for a disappointing downtown meal or doing a weekly cart refill at the local Big Tesco. If you take a look at a chart of the fluctuating market share of UK supermarkets since 2017, you will see that Tesco’s share only briefly drops below 27%, while the closest challengers, Sainsbury’s and Asda, no. never have much more than 15% each. It is also, almost stealthily, the UK’s largest wine retailer. Size isn’t everything, of course, and Tesco will never match the enthusiasm of a specialist dealer. But it does have its fair share of good-value, great-value wines, like this subtly leafy and juicy blackcurrant Chilean red.
Tesco Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Abruzzo, Italy 2020 (Â£ 3.95, Tesco) The Peumo is one of my long-time favorites in the Tesco Finest range, one of the few mainstays that always seem to stand out from vintage to vintage, like the dry and tangy white Tesco Finest Saint-Mont ( Â£ 6.50) and Dry Lemon Australian White Riesling Tingleup (Â£ 9). After tasting around 150 wines from the Tesco range recently, other Finest wines I would choose include an impeccable salty-peach Spanish white, Tesco Finest ViÃ±as del Rey AlbariÃ±o 2020 (Â£ 9), a super bright, bruised and tropical dry white apple. fruit flavored South Africam Tesco Finest Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc 2021 (Â£ 7.50), a spicy, spicy and warm Rhone red, Tesco Finest CÃ´tes du RhÃ´ne Villages Signargues 2020 (Â£ 8) and a mild and tasty Rioja Gran Reserva 2014 (Â£ 11.50). The retailer’s standard, not the thinnest, Tesco-brand range isn’t as fun, but it has the odd best it takes to be cheap, like Abruzzo’s Trebbiano, a soft white. dry Italian with citrus and fish.
Malamado Fortified Malbec, Mendoza, Argentina NV (Â£ 9, Tesco) Of course, the day-to-day reality of buying wine from Tesco suggests that the retailer is just as dependent on what kind of big, less than scintillating brands – like Gallo Barefoot or Hardys Varietal Range – you find in others, Heinz- or the alleys dominated by Kellog’s. I don’t have a particular concern with battling these top-selling brands and their massive marketing budgets, but there’s usually more bang for your buck at Tesco if you stick to own brands rather than wines with the manufacturer’s mark on the front. Not that Tesco is entirely devoid of worthy producer-labeled bottles. His various Argentinian malbecs, for example – whether they are conventionally dry, meaty and fragrant like the DV Catena Malbec Tinto Historico 2018 and Finca Flichman Single Vineyard 2019 (both Â£ 12) or appealing, if they are unusually sweet and resembling Port wine (Zuccardi’s Malamado) – are definitely worth a place in your weekend cart.
Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach