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  • Rupert

Catching Your Attention

Supermarkets look for any excuse to get us to stock up on wine; Easter, Christmas and pretty much every bank holiday prompt the 'big promotions'. And the double Jubilee bonanza is no exception.

You'll see most of the traditional stores offering special deals around bank holidays, where you can get 25% off when you buy 6 bottles or more.

And, on the face of it, it's a good time to buy your favourite bottles especially if you have one or two 'go-tos'. If you usually spend £6 on your Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc or Argentinian Malbec - and if your budget allows it - it makes perfect sense to pick up half a dozen for £27 - or £4.50 a bottle.

But this is when some of the economics of the wine world start to play tricks on your mind. I often explain to customers at tastings about how much of your wine money goes towards things like tax, duty, transport and packaging and how much of that £6 is actually for the wine you drink.

These stats are regularly thrown about, often to get people to open their wallets a bit more in the £10+ range, where naturally you'll get more for your money. And it works - especially when you're told that the wine in your £6 bottle is worth something like 50 pence, which rises to something upwards of £2.50 if you splash out a tenner on a bottle.

So that's why these big holiday promos seem too good to be true and why many people take advantage of them. Spoiler alert - they're not too good to be true - supermarkets aren't stupid. They want to get you in store spending more money and push you towards wines with further discounts on.

I often use the "Buy Six and Save 25%" to try something I've not had before. Although it doesn't really make much sense I'm sure some corner of my brain is being comforted knowing I'm not paying full price for something I might not like.

This was how I was introduced to Kanonkop wines, a South African producer with a wonderful heritage. A few years ago I found their Kadette Blend marked down in Tesco and added a bottle to five more to get a further discount. In the end that bottle cost me around £8. It was a brilliant wine and I started to read up on the producer and have presented it at various tastings I've run. I've bought other wines from Kanonkop at higher prices since, so the promotion absolutely worked on me.

Another bit of advice I was given a few years ago about supermarket wines is to look for their premium lines (The Best, Taste The Difference, Finest, Number One etc). If a supermarket wants to say that this Riesling or Rioja is their 'best' then they're staking their reputation on it. And if it's 25% cheaper for a few days, surely it's worth a punt.

I picked up some fantastic Sainsbury's Taste The Difference 2021 Vintage Port for a tasting I was running during one a couple of months ago. Ten years old, made by the Symmington 'empire' (which owns brands like Graham's, Warre's and Dow's) it was great example of what a vintage Port should be and was voted the wine of the night. It's currently on offer at Sainsbury's for £15 a bottle incidentally, which is an absolute steal.

But don't take my word for it - try it for yourself. And the Kannonkop. You might want to pick up one of Tesco's Finest wines as well while you're at it. The Passerina is a great alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. Their Gran Reserva Rioja is always very good too. There are four bottles right there (OK different supermarkets I know!) so you're not that far from your 25% discount already!

Enjoy the bank holidays and share something nice with friends and family!

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