Tesco’s latest press tasting of the autumn/winter range was its biggest in years, showcasing around 160 wines. It was only a snapshot of the total range but included a number of new vintages, and 62 wines that were completely new to the range. Decanter was there to seek out the best buys on the shelves of the UK’s largest supermarket chain.
It’s inevitable that, in a wine range as large as Tesco’s, not every bottle will offer the same level of satisfaction. But as our recommendations below demonstrate, there’s genuine value – and excitement – to be found on the UK supermarket’s shelves.
As usual, Tesco’s own-label Finest wines, made in partnership with a variety of respected producers and cooperatives, feature heavily in our recommendations. The retailer works hard to ensure that these expressions of classic styles are priced competitively and show good typicity, and they’re a great way to explore different regional styles from both Old and New World, at all price levels. Highlights in the current line-up include the fragrant and fruity Prosecco Rosé, the Chablis premier cru, the keenly priced Chilean Merlot and the Margaux.
Beyond the own-label wines, Tesco’s range includes wines from a selection of the world’s most respected producers, including New Zealand’s Craggy Range (its delicious Pinot Noir would be a great pick for Christmas lunch), Tyrrell’s in Australia’s Hunter Valley, famous for its Semillons (here with new listing the Brookdale Semillon), and California Rhône ranger Bonny Doon with its cracking New World take on red and white Rhône blends. These are all top estates with a great reputation, and worth seeking out.
Many of us are now seeking out wines for winter drinking. At this time of year, all many of us want in the evening after a day’s work is to curl up with a good book / TV drama and a glass of something on the fuller-bodied side. And there’s plenty to choose from here.
Meanwhile there are myriad warming reds to take your pick from. Syrah/Shiraz is a classic go-to variety at this time of year, either as a varietal wine or in a Rhône blend, and there are a couple of crackers here: the Finest Barossa Shiraz for New World richness of fruit, or the Rhône blends Domaine d’Arbousset Lirac and Finest Châteauneuf du Pape. I’d also recommend the Finest Douro – a robust and good-value red that would be perfect matched with hearty meat dishes.
If Cabernet is more your thing, Tesco has added two great new listings to the range: a keenly priced Gran Reserva Chilean Cabernet from Luis Felipe Edwards, and a more pricey but delicious Napa Cab from Joel Gott Wines.
And then of course, before you know it, Christmas will be here. Tesco has always offered a great selection of classic styles that are perfect for festive celebrations. Its sparkling line-up covers all bases price wise, and a range of styles including Champagne, English sparkling wine, Franciacorta, Cava and Crémant – and more!
From the latest press tasting, I’d single out the Prosecco Rosé from its Finest range, the classy Italian traditional-method Franciacorta from Castel Faglia, and Simmonet Febvre’s Crémant de Bourgogne.
Fast forward to dessert and after dinner, and there are some great sweet and fortified wines to snap up. There are Ports for every pocket, including a 10-Year-Old Tawny, an LBV and a 2010 Vintage Port from Symington Family Estates; a rich and unctuous Finest PX Sherry from Gonzales Byass, and the citrussy, botrytised Finest Dessert Semillon from Australia. These last two are some of the best value sweet wines on the UK shelves, and come in handy half-bottle formats, so buy to enjoy at the table – or even to slip into someone’s Christmas stocking…
Top wine buys at Tesco:
The first 31 wines were tasted by Amy Wislocki in October 2022 at Tesco’s Autumn/Winter 2022 press tasting in London. The rest of the wines below were tasted by the Decanter tastings team at previous press tastings and are still available. All bottle prices are correct at time of publication.
Updated 28/10/2022: Added 31 new wines from the Autumn/Winter 2022 range and removed unavailable wines