Deal or no deal?

Uncovering true value on the shelves.


This is not as easy as it sounds!  Sadly the powers that be have cottoned on to the fact that we all love a good deal.  Was £12 now £6? Winner!  Load me up and we’re away.  Sound familiar?  It is the big brands that are the worst offenders and the truth is that these wines were never worth the full price, and only sometimes worth the discounted price.  The wool is being well and truly pulled over our eyes.As with most things in life there is never a short cut to finding quality, or is there?  True quality lies in the wine that is worth more than it is being sold for.  Unfortunately, like Schrodinger’s Cat, you don’t know if it is quality until you have got it at home and by then it is too late.  Using price promotions as a steer on anticipated quality is now an antiquated and corrupted practice, we need a new guide to value at point of sale.  Enter wotwine? stage left…  One quick scan of the barcode and you know instantly if this is not only a decent wine, but one that punches above its weight in terms of value.

If you love Sauvignon Blanc then trust me, you want to get your hands on a case of this for the summer; Domaine du Touch Cotes du Gascogne Sec 2013, France from Asda.  It does not actually contain Sauvignon Blanc but it has such a dry and vibrant explosion of crunchy green apple, lemon and delicious caramelised pineapple  that it is making my mouth water just writing about it.  The Cotes de Gascogne is producing really good value, well made crisp wines, but this was definitely our pick of the bunch.  We thought it was worth £9.00, but at only £6.79 if is a great buy.  Click here to buy.

Another delicious dry white that knocked our socks off is the Lidl Cascia Valentino Roero Arneis 2013, Piedmont, Italy.  This wine is absolute class!  It has subtle smoky vanilla and pinenut notes with a light but intense creamy citrus palate and a long mineral finish.  This is a grape variety we don’t see all that often over here unless you find yourself in a trendy Italian restaurant so it was a delight to find this gem.  We would happily stump up £12.00 for the pleasure but Lidl are charging just £7.99.  Only available in selected stores.
Sticking with slightly obscure but utterly delicious wines, we have the Asda Wine Atlas Bobal 2014, Utiel Requena from Spain.  This is a red wine that has plenty of crunchy blackcurrents, it is pure, fresh and silky with a vibrant redcurrent finish to it.  This Wine Atlas range which traverses the more unusual international regions and grape varieties is well worth seeking out as they are really punching above their weight with great value, exciting wines.  We would pay £8.00 for the Bobal, but it is just £4.97 which is great value.  Click here to buy.
Now, let us introduce you to Italian wine royalty; The Terre da Vino Barolo Riserva 2004 DOCG, Piedmont, Italy from Waitrose.  Barolo is made from 100% Nebbiolo, a grape renowned for its longevity, its high acidity and its grippy tannins.  In its youth it is tough and mean but as it ages and those aggressive tannins soften, it is a joy to behold.  At the Riserva level the wine has been aged for 5 years before it is released, much of that in oak barrels.  This wine is just entering its sweet spot though it will continue to improve and gain complexity over the years.  The nose has complex smoky cured meats and bright cherry fruity with a subtle floral overtone.  The palate has the telltale grip, though it is beautifully balanced by the ripe velvety fruit, and liquorice spice.  It is long, complex and thrilling but best enjoyed with food.  Try your culinary skills out on something like Osso Buco and see what magic it unleashes in the wine.  We thought this would be a good deal at £30.00, but at only £22.99 it is an absolute steal.  As an exclusive deal for wotwine? users, make it an even better deal by entering the code WFEXCLWW10 for £20.00 off when you purchase £150.00 or more from Waitrose Cellar, valid until 18th July.  Click here to buy.
All wine availability and prices were accurate at the time of printing though availability can vary store to store and prices can change at any time without prior warning.