Posts Tagged ‘wine’
In a direct attempt to wooooo middle class shoppers who would rather flagellate themselves with uncooked quinoa than set foot in a Lidl, the German budget supermarket is now offering fancy French wines alongside the off-brand dodgy cider and cans of beer with ‘BEER’ written on them.
Yes, Lidl is seriously stepping on the other supermarket’s toes here, offering wine from the Chateauneuf-de-Pape vineyards for much cheaper than anywhere else. Prices start from £4.99 for a cheeky white Cote de Gascogne (nothing to do with Gazza mercifully) to £21.99 for a 2006 Chateau La Tour.
Lidl are spending £12 million – the most they’ve ever spent – on this product launch, and are hoping to change the way the budget supermarket is seen by the middle classes – and lure them away from Waitrose.
Ben Hulme, senior buying manager for wines at Lidl, said: ‘Our choice offers extraordinary value for money for some of the best wines in the world. Our pricing is transparent and open, unlike a lot of the permanent ‘offers’ on the High Street.’
Of course, everyone knows that the middle classes secretly shop at Lidl anyway, buying up parmesan and Parma ham undercover of darkness while wearing joggy bottoms to hide their shameful privilege…
Good old Aldi. Not only are we all fans of their low prices (and the best supermarket ads on telly), they are now seeking to win the hearts of many more by seeking official wine tasters on Twitter.
The ten “aspiring wine connoisseurs” will receive two free bottles of wine, plus tasting notes, each month, and in return need to produce a measly 140 character review. And drink the wine, of course. Potential applicants have until June 2 to apply with a 150 word spiel and their Twitter name.
And if wine isn’t your bag, drinks retailer Oddbins are also out for public input. Oddbins already run an annual wine taster search and now, we kid you not, they are looking for beer testers. Consumers over the age of 18 who think they could possibly put themselves through the hardship of drinking beer on Oddbins’ behalf can apply for the role, which will go towards the decision making process of deciding choosing which UK ales to stock.
By tweeting @Oddbins and including #OddbinsBeer, you don’t have many characters left to convince the company why you are the best beer-swiller for the job, but if you’re interested, you have until the end of May to come up with something short and snappy. The role is unpaid, but the chosen candidate will receive monthly deliveries of cases of craft ales in exchange for their guidance in the beer-picking process.
Ayo Akintola, managing director of Oddbins, said: “We are committed to placing our customers at the heart of our business model and recruiting a customer beer taster is consistent with that philosophy.”
While these are just two examples of businesses seeking customer engagement, it does show a growing trend towards using customers, in more than one sense of the word, and how this can be mutually beneficial. Even if you aren’t successful in becoming the Aldi wine taster, next time you buy wine, you know Aldi has wine tasters, which might make you more inclined to buy Aldi wine. And for the cost of a monthly case of beer, Oddbins generates publicity worth many times that amount, and even gets a mention on consumer sites whose readers might appreciate the opportunity to drink free beer…
In association with Bloom consultancy, the new labels should help wine drinkers ascertain what is best for them. Other than it being three for a tenner or something like that.
Boozers will now be able to distinguish what wine is which, by a variety of graphics and types of font that changes as the drinker can select from good, better and best.
Good is your entry level crisp and fruity wines. Better is the ‘sun-kissed’ option, which covers the likes of rosé, and the Best selection engulfs Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot.
As you progress through the ranges, the lettering gets fancier and graphics poncier. Bloom planning director Ed Hayes that the new labels would make it “easy, unintimidating and keep people within the brand”.
“There is a misconception that because of the low price the quality isn’t high, so we’re using design to communicate the benefits of cost purchasing”.
He continued, in a way that pleases yet also baffles the client.
When you open a bottle of wine, chances are you’re trying to plunge yourself into oblivion to erase the awful grinding drudgery of the day (Amirite, ladies?).
But Sainsbury’s want to shame wine drinkers just that little bit more by telling them how many CALORIES are in a glass. Their new labels are intending to help us make ‘more responsible health choices’ – although I would say that if you’ve got 3 boxes of Stowells of Chelsea and a Wham bar in your trolley, a nutritional information sticker isn’t going to make much difference.
However, Sainsbury’s think it’s important, because they did a survey and found that 85% of Britons knew how many calories are in a 125ml glass.
Jane Ellison, Public Health Minister, welcomed the move, saying: ‘The use of calorie labelling on alcoholic drinks is a key way the industry can help support responsible drinking. Sainsbury’s are once again helping to lead the way in providing consumers with the information that they need to make informed choices. We welcome this move and urge others to follow suit.’
For the record, apparently there are 228 calories, which is the equivalent of two fish fingers.
(Yes, but can fish fingers get you pished?)
Selecting a bottle of wine usually goes something like this. Your weary eye scans the shelves for a label that says’ ‘half price’ or ‘Don Diarrhoea table wine- £2.99’ and you plonk 5 bottles of it in your trolley.
But beware, because someone has actually researched supermarket wine offers and has confirmed what we all secretly thought was the case – original prices are being inflated before an offer and then slashed to make you think you’re getting an amazing bargain. And yo-yo pricing is so extreme that you can buy a bottle of plonk from one supermarket that’s cheaper than the one on offer in another supermarket.
mySupermarket have been delving into wine offers and found that some wines are only full price for a short period of time. Take Ogio Pinot Grigio, the wine of choice for frazzled middle aged women looking to blot out their menopausal misery. It’s on ‘offer’ at Tesco for £5.49, but has only ever been full price of £10.99 for 63 days of the year. Some wines are only full price for 2 weeks in the year, making it all very misleading.
Former Sainsbury’s wine buyer Alan Cheeseman (who would go very well with a robust Chianti) said prices were ‘blatantly manufactured’ and added:
You will see a Mondelli or an Ogio on sale for a very high price for a period of time, then discounted massively. The problem is that as a nation we have become promotion junkies.’
So what, Cheeseandwineman? Of course we’re promotion junkies! Who can afford a £10.99 bottle of wine on a weeknight? You know what? If I wasn’t so drunk, I would fight both of you.
If you’re middle class, chances are you’re constantly swilling Voigner from a glass as big as your head, and murmuring something about fruity top notes while stirring the cous cous. Unfortunately, wine is bad for you. So the government, (because they drink like fishes as well) want to do something about it.
But instead of telling them to stop boozing, ministers are suggesting that wine should be watered down. Lord Howe, the health minister, is arguing that the minimum strength of wine should be reduced from 8.5% to 4.5%, to protect middle class livers.
According to the NHS, professionals are twice as likely to drink more than poorer people, who are too busy queuing at the food bank to get their drink on at All Bar One.
Lord Howe argues that the market for reduced and low alcohol wines has been increasing in recent years. He said: ‘The Government has consistently made the case for a change to the EU wine rules to permit reduced and de-alcoholised products to be called wines.’
A government spokesman added: ‘We will continue our efforts to change EU wine rules, to allow all wine producers to make and market lower-alcohol products. This will help to help promote healthier choices and tackle the serious harm alcohol causes’.
But surely that’s not the point. Wine buffs don’t want to quietly sip watered down rubbish while they watch the telly. They want robust reds and cheeky whites. They want to gurgle and sniff and spit and drink so much they can’t SEE. That’s the POINT OF WINE.
Maybe they could just encourage the middle classes to drink one bottle less a week and give their wine money to the poor?
Quick, stock up the shed with booze: a champagne which costs just £12.99 from Aldi has beaten loads of other fancy champagnes in a blind taste test at the International Wine Challenge 2013. And that includes Veuve Cliquot, which retails at £130.
Wine boffins and spittoon filling tossers gathered at the event and tasted several vintages. One of the best was Aldi’s Champagne Veuve Monsigny by Philizot and Fils. The judges said it was ‘classy and complex’ – which sounds like a ghost written novel by Kim Kardashian – but apparently that’s wine speak for ‘ace.’
The champagne won the silver medal at the Wine Challenge – with the panel decreeing that it offered ‘an intense nose of baked apple, brioche and stone fruits with gorgeous flavours of apples, red fruit and minerality on the palate.’ (But does it get you pissed?)
Last month Aldi’s £10 own label gin also scored highly in a similar taste test at the International Spirits Challenge, beating brands that cost five times as much.
So if you’re a booze enthusiast – or just a common or garden alcoholic – get down to Aldi today with an articulated lorry.
What is the world coming to? The French, who for years have complimented their politically awkward, laissez faire shrugging and shagging reputation with a nice glass of red, are apparently cutting back on the wine.
According to the International Journal of Entrepreneurship, who studied French drinking habits, only 17% of adults drink wine on a daily basis, down from over 50% in 1980. And 38% of crazy fools prefer not to drink wine at all, replacing the bottle of Beaujolais with water or Sprite.
The reports’ authors say it’s a cultural thing – young people have no historical connection with wine, and those in the middle aged bracket see wine drinking as an occasional indulgence, rather than an everyday activity.
They’re also blaming the steady erosion of the family evening meal (or repas, if you were concentrating in GCSE French).
Wine connoisseur Denis Saverot is not happy with the findings. ‘Wine is the subtlest, most civilised, most noble of anti-depressants,’ he shouted, possibly throwing an empty bottle over his shoulder. ‘But look at our villages. The village bar has gone, replaced by a pharmacy.’
Oh well. More for us, then.
Bitterwallet is the site that just keeps giving. As everyone implodes into a last-minute buying frenzy, why not take a moment to check out our last minute tips. They might not be any use to you, but it’s the thought that counts, and we’re always thinking of you.
You might think it’s too late to get cashback on your Christmas shopping purchases, and you might be right, but not if you use a check-in app like Quidco’s, or you have registered your debit card for in-store purchases to qualify too. Hey, you won’t actually get the cash in time, but why not save up your cashback all year so you’re well up by next December.
Everyone drinks at Christmas. Even nuns. Especially the blue ones. If you have a load of alcohol-swilling relatives descending on you over yuletide, finding the cheapest place to get your seasonal booze can be crucial to your pocket.
If wine is their thing, Quaffer’s Offers sounds a bit poncey, but does compare which wine offers supermarkets have on, allowing you to select only the cheapest plonk for your nearest and dearest.
Alternatively, buy in bulk, and if you are eligible for a cash and carry store like Costco, you might be able to make back the annual membership fee just on booze. Just because you buy it at Christmas doesn’t mean you have to drink it all at Christmas…
You may have missed last posting dates by now, but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you can still (just) get cheaper stamps than the rest of us this Christmas in a scheme run by Royal Mail. Customers on pension credit, employment and support allowance or incapacity benefit will be able to purchase a total of 36 first and second-class stamps at 2011 prices.
The scheme runs until Christmas Eve and will enable customers to purchase a total of up to 36 first and/or second-class stamps at last year’s prices – 46p for first class and 36p for second class. The stamps can be purchased in any mixture of first and second class and can only be purchased in a single transaction, showing proof of benefits.
Obviously stamps don’t expire, so even if you don’t need any now, save them for next Christmas.
If you aren’t lucky enough to get benefits, Superdrug are also offering 5% off first class stamps until December 24.
Wine (hashish for Tories) is about to get more expensive, which is terrible news for people who prefer boozing to talking about their stifling, miserable, lonely lives. A bottle of plonk could be a whole quid dearer in the new year, thanks to a poor harvest of grapes this summer.
This means, those of you who went for the second cheapest wine, could be begrudgingly spending something in the region of the wines you once refuted for being slightly too pricey.
Those hardest hit were the Argentinians, as well as the French and the Italians. It seems the lousy weather was too wet for decent wine grapes, to the point where the International Organisation of Vine and Wine noted that global production was at its lowest in over 30 years!
This will lead us to an average price of £6 per bottle.
“I would expect to see significant price inflation at entry price points,’ said Majestic Wine boss Steve Lewis. “The price of a bottle of pinot grigio could go up by between 50p and £1 come February/March.”
Fill your boots this Christmas and New Year because, in 2013, we’ll all be downing cans of Ace and trying to get pissed on Wine Gums.
It’s not often that we give you a double dose of Commercial Break fun in the same day, but this one trickled on to our Twitter timeline a little bit earlier and made us do big smiles right across our stupid boozy faces.
From New Zealand, and as an attempt to flog some kind of brew called DB Export, it’s a reminder that men DON’T have to have wine. They’ve never had to have wine – it was just something that happened without any of us noticing. Beer is still here and everything is going to be alright. Yes, everything is going to be alright. Beer. Mmmmm….
Now your life could finally be complete – with the launch of a range of AC/DC wines! Take your pick from Highway To Hell cabernet sauvignon, Hell’s Bells sauvignon blanc and You Shook Me All Night Long muscat. Oh yes, it’s for real and everything.
The wines will only be on sale in Australia at first, in branches of Woolworths (no, us neither), whose spokesman Steve Donohue said: “We wanted to make sure that AC/DC’s home fan base could have easy access to their rock icons’ wines. This is a worldwide phenomenon and a first in the marketplace.”
Apart from the wines that have previously been made by Kiss, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Whitesnake and Madonna that is. Opportunistic dickheads the lot of them.
I’m reminiscing again. Back when I was 17 and painting Birmingham red, my friends and I used to go to the local off licence and buy whichever bottle or white wine was £1.99 or less. Now, while we were far from connoisseurs, it was decent enough* and we went on our wobbly and half-dressed way into town happy.
Nowadays, the average price of a bottle of wine in the UK is £4.55, but Guy Woodward, editor of Decanter** magazine recently warned that you don’t get good wine for that price, and was accused of being a wine snob. By ASDA.
ASDA’s argument was that Woodward’s own magazine awarded a prestigious Gold Medal to ASDA’s own brand Rioja, which comes in at a very respectable £4.20. While conceding the exception to the rule, Woodward does make a more serious point about the quality of wine.
You see, out of the £4.55 average bottle of wine, £1.81 is spent on alcohol duty and 76p in VAT, which leaves less than £2 for the wine itself. Bearing in mind that the supermarkets are (naturally) going to make a turn on this, and taking out transport, bottling and delivery costs, how much of that £2 do you think actually goes on the actual wine? And you are surprised if it tastes like used vinegar?
And the taxman’s huge cut is why Tesco’s have decided it is no longer viable for them to offer 3 bottles for £10 deals, as each bottle would have less than 97p to cover costs and make a profit. ASDA, on the other hand, who boast a wine master (posh bloke, drinks wine all day) among their team, do still offer the £10 deal, although a cynic would guess it is the wine producer, rather than the retail giant who is losing out.
So Woodward’s advice is to spend an extra £2 on a bottle, as most of this will go straight on the content, and therefore the taste.
So what do you think? Do you care enough about the taste to cough up an extra £2 or would that make you a wine snob? As all we are allowed to drink in the Bitterwallet office is Tennents Extra, we are probably not the best people to ask…
*as in, not as bad as the paintstripper or coloured paintstripper known as Thunderbird or 20/20 respectively. Good times.
** glass thing you are supposed to pour red wine into before drinking. Most people I know use themselves as a decanter.
Here’s this week’s ‘Greatest eBay Listing Ever’ – an antique Victorian upholstered settee, suitable for a child or a doll.
What makes it stand out above all other listings is the story that is told in the pictures that accompany it – the listing itself is subtitled ‘The Tale Of Ted’s Squandered Years In Toyland’.
Here’s he first four pictures – you’ll have to visit the listing (and maybe place a bid) if you want to see the rest…