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The ol’ trusty supermarket. Convenient for so many things (hence the term ‘convenience store’, I guess – don’t quote me on that). So when picking up your food, it’s no wonder the odd bottle of wine is acquired too. It’s where we all start pretty much, and there is therefore a lot of value to the supermarket’s role in one’s wine journey.
This is by no means bashing supermarket wine. No one starts off straight into liking small-batch wine, or organic wine, or low-intervention wine. These are more niche areas of a widely consumed product. The same way people rarely ever start off liking 80% dark chocolate, or industrial strength espressos. There is always a journey of taste.
However, the difference in quality and variety that hits your supermarket from a food perspective far outweighs that of wine. People are highly conscious nowadays of the origins of their food – so why not their wine?
There is so far to go before responsibly and sustainably sourced, quality wine at a good price hits those shelves. And even though it can be convenient, there is an insane amount of nuance to wine that makes it far trickier to make an informed decision than if you’re picking out a slightly more niche, more expensive chocolate or coffee (to borrow our previous examples).
That being said, many might feel you have to really be into your wine to start delving into dedicated stores or wine subscriptions. But that’s often not the case…
You spend nearly the same anyway
Spending £15 a bottle at the supermarket is largely the same as what you can get from online wine shops, or in a wine subscription, but it will likely come from a much larger vineyard with less care taken in crafting the end product, and less flavour as a result. Plus, the supermarket the goal is to make a nice margin for themselves, rather than holding the aim of providing you with a genuinely tasty and good value wine – given this section is one of hundreds that supermarkets will buy across.
Even if this is slightly more expensive than your normal purchase, it’s also likely because the prices supermarkets charge for wine is either supporting unsustainable winemaking practices, or they overinflate prices just to do a big old “discount”…
Stress-free wine picking
Although popping to your local shop is seemingly a breeze, there is still so much to choose from at a supermarket. And how often do you go in, pick the same bottle just because it’s okay, but you know you could be drinking something better if it weren’t for the fear of getting it wrong?!
Through specialist stores and wine subscriptions, there is someone to wade through the mystifying choice for you, with curation and expert guidance provided (take our on-hand in-house sommelier as an example!). This means stress-free wine picking, and maximum wine satisfaction.
Ease of access
Whilst supermarkets initially seem the ideal option, given you’ll be in there picking up other bits, what is easier than wine delivered straight to you?! There are loads of options out there now to get a consistent supply of wine tailored to your tastes, ensuring your wine rack will always be teaming with choice.
The advice and curation one receives from dedicated wine subscriptions or online retailers means if you really need to, when you have a heavy month and the rack runs dry, you can then make informed decisions at your local wine-acquiring-establishment. Say goodbye to the act of starring gormlessly at that daunting mountain of wine!
Subscriptions might not be everyone’s bag, but there are certainly reasons to start considering shifting your wine buying away from the big supermarkets.