The Wotwine 2019 Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year
Clean sweep for Lidl in Wotwine 2019 Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year awards; Aldi and Asda both rated Highly Commended
Wotwine are delighted to announce that Lidl is the Wotwine 2019 Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year. This is based on delivering best value for money for consumers across their range, in Lidl’s case over 200 wines tasted throughout the year. Aldi was Highly Commended, with a strong performance.
We don’t publish our quality ratings as Wotwine’s focus is relentlessly on value but Lidl also ranked top, jointly with M&S and Waitrose. That is an impressive performance from Lidl, who are not only pricing extremely competitively but also buying well across their range. They are clearly setting the standard for the sector on quality and, above all, value to consumers.
Lidl also claimed the crown for “Wotwine 2019 Supermarket Old World Wine Retailer”, with Aldi and Asda both Highly Commended. Completing the clean sweep, Lidl was placed top for New World wines, with Aldi again Highly Commended.
Paul Gibson, Buying Director at Lidl, said “Winning Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year for a third year running is a real hat-trick of success for our wine range in what’s been a fantastic year already. We’re honoured to be recognised as the leading Supermarket by Wotwine and hope to continue this success streak with our wine offering right up until the new year and beyond.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Wotwine found that, on average, Old World wines strongly outperformed those from the New World for value over the year. There is a general perception that New World wines offer better value for money than traditional producers such as France but our intensive tasting programme just doesn’t support that view. The villain of the piece is the large New World brands which consistently score poorly for value, dragging down the average. And remember, we taste them semi-blind so it’s not that we are biased against the mega-brands, per se; it’s simply that all too often they don’t offer value for money. We’d rather the cash was spent on the contents of the bottle than marketing and sponsorship – and think you’ll agree with that!
Although there are some encouraging signs of improvement in quality and value across the retail trade, there is still some way to go. Only the top three retailers, Lidl, Aldi and Asda had more Good Value and Fair Value wines that Poor Value, with Wotwine still rating over half of all wines it tasted as Poor Value. That’s disappointing. We recognise that retailers have different pricing strategies but it’s rather stark that although M&S ranks equal top for quality, only 27% of its wines were rated Good Value or Fair Value. We’ve been saying consistently that M&S has an excellent range of wine but it just charges £1-2 per bottle too much.
Moving on to individual wines, the best value individual example we tasted in the year was Morrison’s outstanding 2010 “Piccini Villa al Cortile Brunello di Montalcino”, rated at £30.00 by Wotwine and on sale at the time of tasting for £17.00. Brunello is a classic Tuscan wine, with a minimum of four years ageing, and is rarely available at that price level and certainly not at that quality level. The Runner-up was the 2014 vintage of Sainsbury’s consistently impressive “Taste the Difference Barbaresco”, rated at £20.00 by Wotwine and available at £10.00 when tasted. The price has gone up to £11.50 but it’s still great value at that level.
Over the twelve months, the top ten wines were predominantly from the Old World, with Lidl again featuring strongly. Tesco makes two appearances, in both cases with Australian Shiraz.
Wotwine 2019 Supermarket Wine Awards
2019 Wotwine Supermarket Wine Retailer of the Year
Highly Commended: Aldi
2019 Wotwine Supermarket Old World Wine Retailer of the Year
Highly Commended: Aldi, Asda
2019 Wotwine Supermarket New World Wine Retailer of the Year
Highly Commended: Aldi
2019 Wotwine Best Value Supermarket Wine of the Year
Winner: Morrison’s 2010 “Piccini Villa al Cortile Brunello di Montalcino”
Highly Commended: Sainsbury’s 2014 “Taste the Difference Barbaresco”