Dear Dan, don't forget to Value taste buds
Published:  25 July, 2008

I'm intrigued by Tesco's move into budget-range wine. I think we can assume it's going to be something pretty generic, bland and tasteless - a Hungarian Ugni Blanc maybe. And there will be plenty of Tesco shoppers out there who look at it and think: "Well, it says Value on it, so it must be good value."

How do we define value in a wine? Well, in my opinion, at the entry

level

it is about freshness of fruit, a good balance of acid with any sweetness (I would guess the†wines will be off-dry, even if they're†labelled bone-dry) and a clean palate.

There are still loads of wines around the £4 mark†that match that description of a good value, entry-level wine. Independents have got them, and so have the other supermarkets. Some of these have got BEE or Fairtrade accreditation as well, so customers can feel good about themselves when they buy

them.

Well, if Tesco can do all†of this and knock a quid or so off the price, good luck to†them.

But if they put something out there that is undrinkable (I'm certainly not saying they will - given their performance over the past few years I expect they'll be able to pull something pretty good out†of the hat) they could find they put†a large number, or even a whole generation, of shoppers off wine altogether.

People who trust Tesco to produce something decent in its

Value range will expect a decent wine. If they get something sub-standard, they might think all wine is like that, and never bother trading up.

So, Dan Jago: good luck to you, and make sure you do this right.

Name and address withheld




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