Facts Are supermarket wine deals real

Published on September 16th, 2013 | by James

Are supermarket wine special offers real?

Are supermarket wine offers genuine? Do they really offer value for money, or are they a scam? The graphic below tells a very clear story. No, supermarket wine offers are not for real. And yes, supermarkets do routinely mark up their prices in order to sell them at a later “discount”.

But it happens a lot more, and with more far-reaching effects, than you might think.

As you can see below, wine prices aren’t just temporarily lowered, or even temporarily raised; they’re in a constant dizzying loop, zig-zagging up and down to keep us guessing.

Are supermarket wine deals for real?

Data courtesy of the Telegraph

So what are the effects of these yo-yoing prices?

1. You think you know what a £10 bottle of wine tastes like. Guess what: you don’t.

Buying a £10 bottle of wine can quite literally leave a sour taste in the mouth, because so often it’s really only worth £5. With prices going up and down more often than the Grand Old Duke of York, you have no way of knowing what’s selling at its “real” price and what isn’t.

2. You’re actually trained to buy cheap and mediocre wine.

If the risk of getting a cheaper-tasting wine is so high, this trains us to pick the lower-priced bottles, as they’re a lower-risk proposition! How can you tell what is actually worth £10 and what’s a £5 bottle, artificially marked up? So we go for the cheaper bottles. In fact, we learn to find enjoyment in finding the cheapest bottle of drinkable plonk we can find.

3. All this only encourages the supermarkets to stock the cheap stuff.

Too many of us are showing the supermarkets with the way we buy wine that really, we are only prepared to pay a fiver. The irony is that with such tricky deals, in the supermarket it’s the sensible thing to do – at least we know that £5 bottle is worth at least £5! It’s self-fulfilling prophecy; a feedback loop that’s a cancer at the heart of the UK wine trade.

I’m not even saying these cheap wines are bad. Mostly, they’re just mediocre. We end up slurping away at that watery Pinot Grigio or bland Merlot simply because it’s inoffensive.

“Hoodwinking customers is the norm”

So yes, you’d better believe it that supermarkets are a minefield when it comes to buying wine. The Telegraph reports that “Ninety per cent of the wine sold in Britain, either online or in a shop, is sold on some sort of offer.”

Bordeaux winegrower Gavin Quinney also called out the supermarket “pseudo offers”, saying “Hoodwinking customers is the norm.”

It turns out that supermarket wine special offers are not special after all. If you’d like to do some of your own research before buying wine, take a look at www.mysupermarket.co.uk. Its statistics could give you a shock. And stay tuned for some tips on avoiding those supermarket wine scams (yes – buying from an independent wine shop like Rude Wines makes our list!)

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About the Author


Alongside his passion for wine, James loves good food, great whisky and poker, and has worked as a food critic for Worcestershire and Warwickshire Living. James is the marketing manager for Rude Wines.