If you conduct a quick straw poll amongst friends of how they choose a bottle of wine in a Supermarket, the chances are that they will be driven by one of two factors:
1) The price and/or a promotional offer in place at that time
2) The ‘dimple effect’. The ‘dimple effect’ for those who don’t know it, is whereby a potential purchaser checks a bottle of wine’s ‘base’. If the base has a high/deep inset and if the alcohol limit reaches the required standard, many middle class shoppers in Supermarkets across the U.K will deem themselves an amateur sommelier on their ability to choose wine on that basis alone. Visit your local supermarket this weekend and stand in the wine aisle for 10 minutes, and you’ll see what we mean. Many a bottle will be tilted over and they’ll be many a shaking or nodding of heads thereafter…
But, of course, there are other ways to choose a quality bottle of wine too. Wine experts will say that buying at the cheaper end is a false economy because of economies of scale. The cost of producing any bottle of wine for sale means bottling, transport, packaging and labelling etc., let alone wholesaler and retailer profits.
However, the way the wine industry works, is that producers often have to produce a set number of bottles for sale. Anything over and above that quota is sometimes sold on to the likes of supermarkets to be ‘badged’ as their own. This means, some supermarket ‘own brand’ wines, can represent excellent value indeed. In particular, their own ‘premium ranges’ tend to be where the best deals are to be had. If you can find these on offer during a promotion, you could be on a winner.
But of course, wine tasting is subjective and we aren’t all driven by dimples and out and out alcoholic content. If you choose wine from a region you tend to typically favour, you are at least taking a more educated guess at what may ‘float your taste buds’.
It can also pay to shop around. It’s not uncommon to see a particular brand of wine on offer in one or more supermarkets at a time. It can sometimes also tie in with some national television advertising or sponsorship. These promotions can often also represent good value for money because wholesalers are selling in far greater bulk and thus the unit cost to the retailers can be less.