Looking for the best supermarket wine? Want to know which Lidl wine to buy? Read on for the best bottles, from English sparkling wine to Greek wine…
We are thrilled to announced the launch of the olive Supermarket Wine Awards. After undertaking research we discovered that 89% of you lovely lot buy your wine at supermarkets. But navigating those aisles isn’t always easy, is it? Do you instinctively grab your favourite grape or look for what’s on offer, and blindly hope it will cut the proverbial merlot?
We created these awards to help you make the best wine choices during your weekly shop. Whether it’s an affordable vintage, a special-occasion showstopper or a hump-day deal, these awards will help you drink better and will give a shout out to the supermarkets at the top of their wine game.
Best full-bodied red wine under £8
Gold: Waitrose Carménère Reserva 2017, £7.49
Enjoyably peppy and lively, with fresh green pepper, smoke and liquorice notes – a great-value red.
Perfect pairing: Beef stroganoff or game stew.
Silver: Asda Extra Special Selection Valle De Colchagua Carménère, £6.50
Another zippy number – fresh, clean and fruity with earthy notes, restrained smokiness and a lovely silky texture.
Perfect pairing: Spaghetti bolognese.
Bronze: M&S Tapa Roja Old Vines Monastrell, £7
Evocative notes of blackberry and apple crumble make this a cracking wine for autumn.
Perfect pairing: Tagine.
Best full-bodied red wine £8 and over
Gold: Waitrose The Hedonist Shiraz 2017, £14.49
Fragrant rosemary and sage aromas, fruits of the forest notes and a bouncy, spicy character with subtle astringency make this Australian shiraz a must-splurge.
Perfect food pairing: A roast plus all the trimmings, or a tray of slow-roasted root veg.
Silver: Asda Extra Special Valpolicella Ripasso, £9.50
A complex, velvety wine with herby cured meat (think speck or coppa) and sweet fat on the nose, and layers of red fruit and smoke on the palate. One to savour.
Perfect food pairing: Charcuterie platter or bangers and mash.
Best medium-bodied red wine under £8
Gold: Ocado Proudly Vegan Merlot, £7.29
This is autumn in a bottle, smooth with stewed plum notes and a whiff of bonfires along with a balancing freshness.
Perfect pairing: Porchetta.
Silver: Lidl Chianti Riserva 2015, £6.99
An easy-drinking number, with blackcurrant, liquorice and sweet, woody spice. Top tip – decant this and the flavours will get even better.
Perfect pairing: Moussaka.
Bronze: M&S Merinas Old Vine Tempranillo, £7
Fragrant and fruity on the nose and on the palate; generous and rounded with a very silky texture.
Perfect pairing: Aubergine parmigiana.
Best medium-bodied red wine £8 and over
Gold: Tesco Finest Viña del Cura Rioja Reserva 2014, £8.50
A great winter red, this is a spicy and herbaceous rioja, with liquorice and vanilla aromas. Pour yourself a glass of this and hunker down until spring.
Perfect pairing: Lamb kofte.
Gold: Ocado Veramonte Merlot, £11.15
Light and fresh, expect blackcurrant leaf notes combined with ripe berries, subtle spiciness and an enjoyable warmth – this wine will really open up when drunk with food.
Perfect pairing: Pizza.
Silver: M&S El Duques de Miralta Rioja Crianza, £10
We loved the concentrated raisin aromas (similar to Pedro Ximénez) and aniseed/caraway notes of this silky, smoky, well-balanced rioja. A sultry red for the festive season.
Perfect pairing: Stewed spiced red cabbage – or sip as a post-dinner night cap.
Bronze: Waitrose Saint Clair Hawkes Bay Syrah 2018, £12.99
Bursting with rose and violet aromas, this is a summer posy of a wine, soft and opulent. With ripe yet tart, summer-pudding-like fruit notes, try drinking this slightly chilled at a barbecue.
Perfect pairing: Chargrilled courgettes.
Best light-bodied red wine £8 and over
Gold: Ocado McManis Estate Pinot Noir, £15.15
A really special, complex pinot noir, this was headily aromatic, with delicate stewed fruit, clove, cardamom and violet notes. Well-balanced, it really dances around the palate.
Perfect pairing: Char siu pork and pak choi.
Silver: Asda Extra Special New Zealand Pinot Noir, £10
Expect subtle stewed blackberry fruits, with cigar box fragrance and a savoury, almost meaty edge. Very quaffable.
Perfect pairing: Christmas Day roast turkey.
Bronze: Waitrose Les Nivières Saumur 2017, £9.49
This fruit-driven cabernet franc sings with woody herb and black pepper notes, with plenty of body.
Perfect pairing: Pork, sage and apple.
Best light-bodied red wine under £8
Gold: Lidl Barbera d’Asti, £4.99
Light and clean, with violet and refreshing cherry fruit flavours – this is a highly gluggable, versatile wine (try drinking it chilled during the summer months).
Perfect pairing: Goat’s cheese and beetroot salad.
Gold: Tesco Finest South African Fairtrade Cinsault 2018, £7.50
A pretty summer red, light and whispery, with tempting rose and violet notes.
Perfect pairing: Rabbit ragu.
Gold: M&S Pisano Cisplatino Tannat, £10
Moreish sour cherry aromas, and a meaty, savoury finish – this would also drink well chilled.
Perfect pairing: Crispy duck pancakes.
Gold: Ocado Purato Siccari Appassimento, £9.99
Seductive, complex and layered, with fragrant mountain herb and strawberry jam aromas.
Perfect pairing: Mushroom risotto.
Best pinot grigio under £8
Gold: Ocado Casalinga Pinot Grigio, £7.69
Fruity with pear and flat peach notes and flavours, and a limey zing – a super-chilled glass of this on a summer’s day would be just the ticket.
Perfect pairing: Grilled chicken with lemon and herbs.
Best pinot grigio £8 and over
Gold: Waitrose St Michael-Eppan Pinot Grigio 2018, £11.99
Complex and rich, this had a floral nose, zestiness and a savoury, almost buttery taste.
Perfect pairing: Grilled sardines.
Best sauvignon blanc under £8
Gold: Lidl Winemaker’s Selection Awatere Valley Sauvignon Blanc, £6.99
Fresh, zingy and lively, this wine is bursting with tropical passion fruit and gooseberry flavours, with a savoury grassiness at the finish. Ticks all the Kiwi sauvignon blanc boxes.
Perfect pairing: Ceviche.
Best sauvignon blanc £8 and over
Gold: Tesco Finest North Row Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2018, £13
Aromatic gooseberry, passion fruit and raw green pepper notes – everything you want from a New Zealand sauvy b.
Perfect pairing: Salmon and new potatoes.
Silver: Waitrose De Grendel Sauvignon Blanc 2018, £11.99
There’s passion fruit, green pepper and lime zest here, but also a stoney, steely edge (and a lovely acidity) to this zippy wine that we found very appealing.
Perfect pairing: Caesar salad.
Bronze: Asda Extra Special Pouilly Fumé Sauvignon Blanc £12.50
Proof of how much variety you can find in this grape, this is a muscular, manly number with woodiness, nuttiness and blue cheese notes.
Perfect pairing: A waldorf-style salad.
Bronze: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pouilly Fumé 2018, £13
Steely and balanced with a stoney minerality and peachy fruits – this had lovely length and texture.
Perfect pairing: Oysters, or spaghetti with clams.
Best chardonnay under £8
Gold: Lidl Winemaker’s Selection Coonawarra Chardonnay, £5.79
This subtly creamy chard is heady with incense-like aromas, and exotic mango, papaya and warm vanilla notes.
Perfect pairing: Sweet and sour pork.
Silver: M&S Burra Brook Chardonnay, £7
Petrolly and vegetal on the nose, expect ripe fruit and a little zestiness. This was a lighter take on the grape, perfect for those who prefer less full-bodied chardonnays.
Perfect pairing: Gammon and pineapple.
Best chardonnay £8 and over
Gold: Waitrose Rustenberg Chardonnay 2018, £14.99
With great length and opulent notes of buttered toast, vanilla and oak, plus balancing citrus and stone, this is the chardonnay equivalent of a hug. Perfect for those who love the classic rich expressions of this grape.
Perfect pairing: Chicken kiev.
Silver: Morrisons The Best Chablis 1er Cru, £15
This had a clean nose, floral with ripe, peachy fruit and elegant balancing acidity that snaps it into shape.
Perfect pairing: Peach, goat’s curd and mint salad.
Silver: M&S Chablis 2016, £12
Fresh and mineral, with tropical guava and lychee notes, this easy-drinking number is a lovely example of a classic Chablis chardonnay.
Perfect pairing: Steamed red mullet and lemon.
Gold: Ocado Txomin Extaniz Txakoli, £15.15
We loved this subtly effervescent, lip-smacking Basque vintage, which had a savoury, saline character – an intriguing, interesting white wine.
Perfect pairing: Seafood paella.
Silver: M&S Atlantis Santorini, £12
Greece has been making exciting wines for some time now and this gorgeous assyrtiko from volcanic Santorini is a corker, with fragrant wood smoke and eucalyptus aromas, and peachy stone fruit.
Perfect pairing: Fish pie.
Bronze: Morrisons The Best English Dry White, £14
With ripe passion fruit, gooseberries and wet stone notes, we loved this light and summery wine’s pretty nose.
Perfect pairing: A mild, coconut-based Thai curry.
Best rosé under £8
Gold: Ocado Proudly Vegan Rosé, £6.99
Fragrant with strawberry, rose, jasmine and violet (think Turkish delight) – this had a enjoyably long finish and nice balance. Drink as a summery aperitif.
Perfect pairing: Seared salmon or Greek salad.
Best rosé £8 and over
Gold: Asda Extra Special Selection Sangiovese Rosé, £9
Spice and dark stone fruits – plums and cherries – on the nose, and savoury, herbaceous notes on the palate. A sophisticated, complex rosé.
Perfect pairing: Salty snacks.
Silver: Tesco Finest Provence Rosé 2018, £8.50
With floral rose notes and the palest of pink hues, this is a classic Provençal rosé.
Perfect pairing: Salade niçoise.
Silver: Waitrose Provence Rosé 2017/2018, £9.99
Subtly floral, with a strawberries-and-cream fruitiness and an herbaceous edge, this was clean, refreshing and easy to glug.
Perfect pairing: Strawberries.
Best sparkling wine
Gold: Morrisons The Best English Sparkling Grand Vintage Brut 2010, £25
Deliciously savoury, with a buttery nose and a rich toastiness (think champagne), a mineral edge and a long, lingering finish.
Silver: Asda Pendium Moscato Sparkling Wine, £9
If you prefer a sweet fizz that’s also low in alcohol then this is the wine for you – this had a light, delicate rose petal scent and well-balanced, not too cloying sweetness.
Silver: Co-op Irresistible Eight Acres Sparkling Rosé, £18
Dry, savoury with salty aromas, and delicate, crushed cranberry fruit on the palate – an elegant pink fizz.
Bronze: Tesco Finest English Sparkling Wine, £19
Nutty, buttery, dry with saline notes, a clean and super-refreshing sparkling wine.
Best own-label champagne
Gold: Tesco Finest Vintage Champagne, £26
A yeasty, biscuity nose, buttery with lemony freshness and moussy bubbles – everything you’d want and a great price for a vintage champagne.
Silver: Asda Extra Special Vintage Champagne Brut 2007, £25
Yeasty, with biscuity, brioche tones and ripe, opulent fruit.
Bronze: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Blanc de Noirs Champagne, £21
Fresh and easy to drink, with delicate bubbles, and lemon meringue notes.
Gold: Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Conegliano Prosecco 2018, £10
With pear and peachy aromas and flavours, a zingy lemon curd hit at the finish and a fresh, sharp acidity – this is a classic example of a great prosecco.
Silver: Morrisons The Best Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, £10
A slightly unusual example of prosecco, with more toasty flavours along with those classic pear fruits. Not too sweet, this was nicely complex.
Silver: Tesco Finest Prosecco Valdobbiadene, £10
Clean, with summer-garden-like rose aromas, subtle notes of celery and a savoury taste.
Best in show: the star of a wine collection
Gold: Asda Villa Vincini Governo Rosso Toscano, £9.50
A voluptuous winter red, sultry and intense, with dark chocolate and vanilla notes. Pour a glass of this and drink in front of a roaring fire.
Perfect pairing: Beef wellington or smoked tofu.
Gold: Waitrose Kilikanoon Grenache Shiraz Mataro 2017, £10.99
Wine lovers looking for something unusual should seek this out – layered and earthy with mushroom notes, yet still lifted, elegant and fresh tasting.
Perfect pairing: Grilled steak and mushroom sauce.
Silver: Tesco Finest Amarone Valpolicella 2016, £18
A full-on, dark and muscly number, with raisiny intensity, earthiness and spice.
Perfect pairing: Duck with cherry sauce.
Bronze: Lidl Saint Emilion Grand Cru, £10.99
Smoky, intense, velvety and full bodied, this is a moody, brooding red bordeaux with classic clove notes.
Perfect pairing: Burger.
How we chose the winners
The olive team chose 20 categories for own-brand and retailer-exclusive supermarket wines, covering different grape varietals, styles and price points. The supermarkets were invited to enter one wine per category (so they had to choose carefully). Every wine was blind-tasted by a panel of olive judges (led by olive wine columnist, drinks author and sommelier Kate Hawkings) and we awarded gold, silver and bronze winners. In some categories, where the standard was high, we awarded joint winners.
So if you see these labels on your next shop – trust in us. These bottles are banging!