At the autumn Tesco press tasting we were presented with 133 wines to try; nearly 100 were the company’s own brands.
While not quite the ratio in stores, this shows where its – and other high-street retailers’ – interests lie. Own labels offer good margins and enable companies to build loyalty to their brand.
There were horrors – Tesco’s soave (£3.90) will have the area’s quality estates seething that this wine is allowed to sully the name of region.
Equally, there was brilliance, in its Finest sancerre rosé (£10).
Across the major wine retailers, standards are high. Most source the best they can at a good price, aiming to build confidence in the whole range.
There are a few simple tips for getting the best out of own labels:
Tesco Beaujolais-Villages 2015, France £6
No doubt helped by a brilliant vintage, this delivers a lot for the money. Saturated with ripe, dark fruits balanced by a typical twist of spice.
The Society’s Exhibition Limarí Chardonnay 2015, Chile £9.95, thewinesociety.com
The own-label range with no comparison. Razor-sharp citrus-infused brilliance.
Telegraph Wine from Waitrose Brut Special Reserve Champagne 2005, France £24.99
Cheaper than many brands’ non-vintage, this is a complex, rich, vinous glass that comes into its own with food.