Sounds harsh you think? Just think about it. Would you really expect to find great wine from a shop which is just as keen to sell you spuds and soap as they are wine? You know that wine’s a big subject, and sure, supermarkets have their ‘experts’. But who do you think’s really calling the shots?
It wasn’t always the case, and there still a few supermarkets who take wine relatively seriously, but all have absorbed wine into being just another category, no different from cleaning products or cereals.
So should it come as any surprise that carrying a range of wines that are focused on volume, price and familiarity is at the front of their minds? Of course not.
And that’s why you’ll never find a great wine in a supermarket. Because that’s not how supermarkets operate. It’s just not in their DNA.
It’s probably for the best. Just think, any great, or even very good wine, sat on a supermarket shelf, under bright lights and less than ideal temperatures, is going to be one big risk for you the wine buyer.
We’re not suggesting you’ll not find wine that’s okay in a supermarket. They’re exceptionally good at offering something for everyone, so expect the passable, some familiar brands (though most of these are being squeezed out now too), and just maybe the occasional surprise.
But we are saying that supermarket wine is now probably at the lowest point its ever been when it comes to quality. And this has got some important implications for you if you like wine.
Because if you’re happy to buy your food from a supermarket, and you enjoy eating, you’re going to have to look elsewhere to find decent wines to match.
So be prepared to look further afield for good, let alone great wines. Take your time and pick bottles you really want to drink, not knee-jerk into grabbing the latest offer.
Maybe even think about getting a case delivered to your door, for free, so you’ll always have a bottle of wine ready. That takes away the jeopardy, saves you wasting money on wines you really aren’t going to enjoy, and is one less thing to have to squeeze into your shopping bag.