Tesco is a huge brand with a huge range of products. Like many supermarkets, its own label groceries are popular with and trusted by its loyal customers. Most of us would think nothing of buying a supermarket own label bag of flour or packet of biscuits so why are so many of us suspicious of buying supermarket own label white wine?
Tesco is one of the supermarkets which has worked hard to build a reputation for quality and value for money for its own label wine range and has listened to customer feedback. Perhaps that is why the supermarket was given the award of Own Label Range of the Year at the International Wine Challenge and why, according to Tesco, it won more medals for its own label wine range than its three main grocery competitors at this year’s industry wine awards.
Tesco certainly tries to make wine buying easy for its customers. Not only are the labels on its own label white wine range informative and simple to understand but the different divisions within the own label white wine range are targeted at different types of customers with the aim of providing the customer with an appropriate white wine buying experience.
Customer feedback told Tesco that many customers were intimidated by buying wine so in August 2011 the supermarket introduced its Simply range, a small and select range of wines which features some of the most popular white wine varietals and styles such as Muscadet, Soave Classico, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. The aim is to introduce customers to a small selection of white wine styles at an affordable price (all the Simply bottles of wine are priced between £3.49 and £5.99) with unpretentious and simple to understand labels. The range is being extended gradually in consultation with customers and some of the white wine styles are available in 3ltr boxes or in mini 18.75cl bottles.
The Simply range was introduced to help customers befuddled by the huge selection offered by the supermarket’s standard and premium Finest ranges. Tesco’s standard white wine range offers everything from Chablis and Sancerre to Hock and Spatlese with everything from Australian Chardonnay and Chilean Sauvignon Blanc in between. Most white wine styles can be found under the Tesco label and at affordable prices the range offers a good value way of sampling a lot of different white wines.
Much of Tesco’s effort has gone into putting together its impressive Finest white wine range. This is Tesco’s premium white wine range and it shows. The supermarket has persuaded a number of renowned producers and wine makers from all over the world to be involved in producing individual white wines – for example, well known Australian winery De Bortoli is responsible for Tesco’s gold medal-winning Finest Dessert Semillon. The result is a range of own label wines which have gained respect and recognition not only amongst Tesco’s loyal customers but also within the wine industry – a massive 94% of the Finest range was awarded some sort of accolade in the most recent round of international wine competitions.
Tesco’s Finest white wine range covers a wide range of styles from a wide range of countries. It includes the obvious premium white wine styles such as Chablis Premier Cru and New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but also includes lesser known styles such as Gavi from Italy and Torrentos from Argentina. The prices vary from just under £5 for a bottle of Finest Muscadet to around £19 for a bottle of Finest Meursault but the majority of bottles are priced between £6 and £10. Whatever the price of the individual white wines the supermarket own label means the price will be competitive compared with equivalent branded bottles.
So if 94% of Tesco’s Finest range was decorated in the recent international wine awards, which white wines will be proudly sporting their medals on the supermarket’s shelves? I have already mentioned the Finest Dessert Semillon which won a gold medal at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) and another IWC gold medal winner was the Finest Albarino from Spain’s Galicia region. Produced by Adega Condes de Albarei it is described as “an elegant, aromatic wine”. This wine also won an award at the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Decanter gold medal winners include the Finest Tingleup Riesling and the Finest Picpoul de Pinet. The Tingleup Riesling is from Western Australia and is described as “delightfully crisp and dry”. The Picpoul de Pinet is from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region and is produced by Les Costieres de Pomerols. It is described as “a fresh, bright wine” with a “wonderful elegance”.
Not all of Tesco’s own label white wines are available in all their stores, particularly as many are the smaller Metro and Express stores. However, the majority of white wines are available on Tesco’s online groceries website or on the Tesco wine website where bottles are available by the half or full case.