The own-brand wines that beat the flashy labels

Sarah Coles
BR7WB0 Red wine pouring into a glass, studio isolated on white background
BR7WB0 Red wine pouring into a glass, studio isolated on white background




Supermarket own-brand wines triumphed at the Oscars of the wine industry today. The swanky wine world holds its breath every time the results of the International Wine Challenge are announced, and this year they must have had something of a shock, as 184 own-brand supermarket wines picked up a medal. It means we can all afford an award-winner for Christmas.

In total, the IWC awarded an impressive 13 gold medals to supermarket own-brand wines. Charles Metcalfe, Co-Chairman of the IWC commented: "We have discovered some outstanding supermarket own-brand wines during this first tranche of the competition, which would definitely bring a touch of elegance to any Christmas table."

It means that if you want to impress your friends and family this Christmas, you don't need to splash out on a fancy wine - because the supermarket own-brand wines get top marks.

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The best

Perhaps unsurprisingly Marks & Spencer took the top spot, with 73 medals for its own-brand wines, including five golds, 21 silvers and 47 bronzes: it's hardly surprising for the shop named as the IWC wine retailer of the year.

It was way out in front of its nearest rival, Tesco, which picked up 32 - four gold medals, eight silvers and 20 bronzes. Morrisons, meanwhile, managed 30, including three golds, 14 silvers and 13 bronzes. Aldi received one gold, one silver and eight bronzes, Waitrose got three silver medals and 12 bronzes and the Co-operative picked up two silvers and eight bronze medals. The two worst performers were Asda, with three silvers and four bronze medals, and Sainsbury's with two silvers and four bronzes.
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The bargains

For the gold medal winners you can expect to pay the higher end of the own-brand prices - with several priced at £15 or more. The two cheapest on the list were sherries (Tesco finest Amontillado and Morrisons Amontillado Sherry). These were followed by two sweet wines (Morrisons Signature Grüner Veltliner 2013 at £6.99 and Tesco finest Dessert Semillon 2009 at £6.79).

The cheapest table wine was from Aldi - the £7.99 Exquisite Collection Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc. This was followed by a Marks and Spencer Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico for £8. The judges particularly picked out the last of these two wines as a real favourite

The £7.99 price point seems to be key for a lot of these wines. However, there are some great medal winners for shoppers on a budget. These include silver medal winner Tesco Finest Fiano - selling for £5.49, and bronze medal winning Tesco finest Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, currently reduced from £7.99 to £5.99.

A special mention should also be made of the bronze medal-winning Asda Extra Special Bordeaux Superieur, 2012 - currently reduced from £7 to £5, and the Asda Extra Special Montepulciano D'Abruzzo 2013 - which is also reduced to £5.

So there's no reason to spend more than £5 a bottle on your festive wines this year.

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