A recent tasting of wines from Sainsbury’s spring/summer 2023 line-up included plenty of bottles that are ideal for sipping on sunny days. They range from crisp whites and pale rosés, to food-friendly barbecue wines and fruity reds that can be served lightly chilled.
As usual, the supermarket’s own-label Taste the Difference range features heavily. It does a good job of covering many classic regions at affordable prices. But it’s also worth keeping a look out for Sainsbury’s Discovery Collection wines. This more adventurous, limited-edition selection includes a good value Saumur Blanc from the Loire Valley and a versatile Italian white Lugana from the shores of Lake Garda (see below for tasting notes).
Some of last year’s Discovery Collection wines proved so popular that they have now been promoted to the permanent range. Sainte-Victoire Provence Rosé 2022 is one of those: an elegant pale pink that delivers everything you’d want from a Provence rosé. ‘This is a step up from our classic Côtes de Provence rosé,’ explains wine buyer Sam Glanfield, who chose it as one of her star buys in the new range.
Stars for summer
Other star picks from the Sainsbury’s buying team included Bread & Butter Chardonnay 2021, chosen by head of wine buying Georgie Haughton. Previously exclusive to Majestic, this range – which also includes a Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon – is ideal for fans of big, generous California wines.
Sainsbury’s winemaker Richard Maltby chose the Discovery Collection South Africa Field Blend 2022 as his star pick. ‘I think that South Africa is currently producing some of the world’s most exciting wines,’ he says. ‘This is a great example of a blend of white grapes sourced from old vines in the Paarl region that gives the wine a unique honeyed flavour.’ Meanwhile fellow winemaker Lisa Rogerson chose the ‘great value’ Campo de Borja Garnacha 2021.
The Sainsbury’s team has also continued to strengthen the supermarket’s Italian range. Rogerson flagged the new Discovery Collection Lange Nebbiolo 2020, which was one of my favourite reds in that tasting. Also look out for Taste the Difference Marzemino Trentino 2021, a light fruity red that can be served chilled – good value at under £10. Another wallet-friendly Italian to put in your shopping trolley is Taste the Difference Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico 2021 (£7).
Sparkle and stay cool
To get your summer celebrations started, Sainsbury’s sparkling selection roams from Prosecco to Champagne via Cava and New World fizzes. If you want a wallet-friendly alternative to Champagne, seek out regional French crémants – the two bottles recommended below, from Bordeaux and Burgundy, are really enjoyable good value options.
Other summer sippers to try include Ormarine’s Picpoul de Pinet (£10) a citrus and mineral white that’s perfect for fresh seafood. Fans of New Zealand Sauvignon should seek out Marlborough Heartlands Sauvignon Blanc 2022, a collaboration between top winemaker David Hohnen of Cloudy Bay fame and the Marlborough Grape Grower’s Co-operative – a steal at £12.
Finally, fans of light reds can choose between Taste the Difference Rheinhessen Pinot Noir 2021 from Germany and Taste the Difference French Pinot Noir, pried £8 and £11 respectively.
Best Sainsbury’s wines
Tasting notes come from the Sainsbury’s spring/summer 2023 tasting. Wines from older tastings have also been included if the wine is still available in store or online. All bottle prices are correct at time of publication.