My Taste: Tesco

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Editor Richard Siddle assesses the Tesco autumn tasting.

With the sounds of Big Ben in the background and a view overlooking the Houses of Parliament, the Millennium Wheel and the Thames, this month’s Tesco Autumn tasting could have billed as a tourist attraction in its own right.

The Royal Festival Hall also helped to bring a sense of occasion to the proceedings – and that’s before you got round to tasting any wines. Those on display were the fruits of Tesco’s latest category review introduced in August. The data analysts at Tesco HQ have been delving into masses of consumer research to determine an even more targeted, focused offer that will see stores carrying different ranges of wine depending on that area’s demographic

Fresh, fruity and refreshing were very much the tasting buzz words here, with wine after wine matching up to consumers’ increasing interest in easy-drinking wines that offer depth and deliver vizz at the same time.

Praise where praise is due, with the line-up demonstating that behind the headlines and brickbats, Tesco has an extraordinarily deep and varied wine offer. From £2.99 to £150 it delivers quality at every price point.

Personal favourites would have to include; the new Tesco Finest Malbec 2008, produced by Catena, which at £4.24 packs more fruit, warmth and texture than a wine double the price; Tesco Finest Denman Vineyard Chardonnay 2007 (£7.99) which will win winemaker Peter Hall prizes on the regionality stakes as not only does it flag up its New South Wales heritage it actually tells you what that means in terms of the style  on the front label; Stockman’s Station Pinot Noir Central Otago 2006 (£13.99) with its lovely vibrant fruits, controlled tannins and overall snugness; and another new one D’Arenberg’s Tesco Finest Block 13 Shiraz- Grenach 2008 from McLaren Vale, which looks like being another Aussie regional classic.

Final word goes to fellow taster Joe Wadsack: “You cannot imagine a tasting like this five years ago – fantastic wines.”

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