How can Asda sell award-winning wine for under £6 a bottle?

Secrets of production revealed

The award-winning Malbec from Asda.

A £6 bottle of red from Asda has become an unlikely worldwide sensation after winning a prestigious award.

The supermarket's own-brand La Moneda Reserva Malbec 2016 beat an extraordinary 16,000 other wines to win 'best in show' in last year's prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.

After the win, it became so popular that the company's website crashed under the strain, and parent company Walmart launched the wine in the US for just $6.96 a bottle.

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"This Malbec has a deep purple colour with violet tints, rounded and velvety tannins, complex plum, fig, spice flavours and excellent length," says Asda.

And customers agree, giving the wine a rating of 4.3 out of 5.

"Probably the best cheap wine we've ever tasted," writes one; "It surpassed all expectations," says another.

Asda has had the experts scratching their heads as to how it can offer the wine at such a good price - and now the Washington Post has spilled the beans.

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It turns out that the low price is down to mass production. It's produced in Chile by Ranco Wines, the country's largest wine exporter. Over 100 million bottles are produced a year.

Rather than being produced in oak barrels, it's made in huge stainless-steel tanks; it's then shipped in bulk, to save costs, and bottled in the UK.

And the whole lot is bought up by Asda/Walmart.

"Any retailer can ask a distributor for some La Moneda," says Walmart buyer Kurt Carlson. "But the truth is, we've already bought it all."

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When buying supermarket wine, it's tempting to go for a special offer. However, experts say these aren't generally the best value. Instead, you should go for an own-brand wine which - like Asda's Malbec - will have been bought direct from the producer, cutting out commission from middlemen.

And, generally speaking, you'll get the best value by spending as much as you can afford. The average £5 bottle, says drinks specialists Harpers contains wine worth just 45p, thanks to distribution costs and - especially - duty.

If you can double your budget to a £10 bottle, though, you'll be getting £2.90 worth of wine - more than six times as much.

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