Tesco has more than 2,650 stores across the UK so chances are if you’re a wine lover, you’ve bought a bottle – or more – from the retailer.
In time for the autumn (and with a beady eye on Christmas), Tesco’s team has recently added more branded wines to its range and this week showed a wide selection along with many new vintages of its own label to journalists.
As well as the star champagne (below), I thoroughly recommend the toasty and refined Finest Franciacorta NV (12.5%, £15) Italian fizz and gorgeous golden, peaches-and-cream Hattingley Classic Reserve NV sparkler from Hampshire (12%, £29).
In the white corner, and again rather high-end, don’t miss the juicy, lemon-streaked Finest Sancerre 2018, Loire (13%, £14), or the Australian on the right. Bargain hunters though will love the new kiwi and grapefruit-flavoured, jauntily youthful Mountain Vineyards Chenin Blanc 2019, South Africa (just 11.5%, £5).
Standout reds included the reasonably priced, cassis-rich Tesco Bordeaux Superieur 2018, France (13%, £6.75), the well-balanced, black cherryish Finest Fairtrade Malbec 2019, Western Cape, South Africa (13%, £7.50) and the more unusual Italian I’ve tipped here.
Finally, don’t trolley-dash past Tesco’s ports this autumn – its Finest LBV Port 2013, Portugal (20%) is smooth but packed with sweet plums and fruitcake – a snip at £11.
D’Arenberg Olive Grove Chardonnay 2018
South Australia (13.7%, £12)
A ripe and rounded premium Aussie chardonnay with fresh citrus and yellow plum fruit, aged in French oak for seven months to give a subtle vanilla sheen. One for roast chicken.
Il Passo Segreto Appassimento Sangiovese 2017
Emilia Romagna, Italy (14%, £8.50)
The grapes for this, a blend of local varieties, were dried for 60 days after harvest, which gives a delicious prune and raisin edge to the wine. It finishes on a fresher red-cherry lift and is gorgeous with hard cheeses.
Finest Premier Cru Champagne NV
France (12.5%, £20)
Tesco’s non-vintage Premier Cru Champagne, long a great buy, is currently on outstanding form. It’s mainly chardonnay, but a big dollop (30 per cent) of pinot noir in the blend adds a gorgeous raspberry note to the creamy, rich but dry and fresh fizz.