How to buy the best own-label wines this autumn

Grape escape Tesco has opened a pop-up bar in London’s Soho
Across the major wine retailers, Hamish Anderson finds that standards are high - so here's how to find the best of the bunch Credit: Graham Carlow

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.

Scrutinise the label: if a producer’s name is highlighted, your chance of something interesting rises

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:

Try these

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,

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.