Skip to content

Choosing a wine in the supermarket

Choosing a wine in the supermarket without having tasted it is a difficult task even for wine professionals. Oenologists or sommeliers are sometimes present to guide you, but you will most often be left to your own devices. You will be faced with hundreds of references with a whole lot of information on the bottles, which will not necessarily help you in your choice. So whether it’s for a meal, an evening with friends or a one-on-one dinner, here we will see some advice and tips for choosing the right wine in the supermarket:

1. The price

In general, and I think everyone knows it, with a bottle at a low price (less than €5), you shouldn’t expect a great vintage.

Wines are usually listed by appellation. To choose your wine in the supermarket, do not hesitate to favor wines from little known appellations to save money. But don’t hesitate to pay more than €5 for a bottle if you want a minimum of quality. Indeed, by doing this, you avoid putting a bottle on the table which can hold unpleasant surprises for you. Ditto for expensive bottles, the price is not necessarily synonymous with quality. If you plan to put more than 20 euros in a bottle, do not hesitate to go to the cellar rather than choosing a wine in the supermarket. An adviser will guide you in your choices and the bottles are not more expensive.

2. The label

Take the time to read the label. A beautiful bottle will surely catch your eye, but it is better to linger on the label and therefore be interested in its contents rather than being limited to its first impression.

On the label, you will find the appellation of the bottle or if it is an IGP wine (refer to the appellation article). If an appellation wine and an IGP wine are at the same price, do not hesitate to take the IGP. Indeed, if the price is the same, the IGP will surely present a higher quality. Some merchants specialize in the production of wine for mass distribution. You can trust them, because their name is a guarantee of quality. On the label, you will also sometimes find the grape varieties and/or other interesting information.

Regarding the back label: again, the back label provides a lot of information, which unfortunately is not all useful. For example, the words “aged in oak barrels” or “bottled at the château” are not always a guarantee of quality. While mentions of the terroir or the know-how of the winegrower can guide you.

3. The grape variety

You will often find this information on the back label.

This information will be more useful to you than you think! Indeed, the grape variety used for the conception of the wine changes its taste enormously. Take a pinot noir and a cabernet sauvignon, you will quickly realize that the taste is not at all similar. One is soft while the other is much meatier. Don’t worry, knowing all the grape varieties and their aromas is useless. But trying to know which ones you prefer can be useful. To find out, you simply have to taste wines. Don’t hesitate to take a picture or write down those that you really liked. On the counter-labels or on the internet, you will find the grape varieties used.

4 Selection of guides and medals

Some competitions place small macaroons on wines indicating that a panel of professionals have tasted this wine (often blind, therefore recognized for their quality). More and more bottles in supermarkets display their reward by this or that guide. Be careful, however, not to refer only to this when you choose your wine at the supermarket. It exists more or less prestigious competitions; two popular contests are by example: the Concours Général Agricole de Paris and the Concours des Grands French wines from Mâcon.

5. Don’t look for inspiration in the department

Searching for a bottle of wine is prepared in the same way as the shopping list. You need to have a price range in mind, if possible the dish that it will accompany… This will greatly help you to target the wine by greatly reducing the choice available in stores. Finally, once at store, it is obviously preferable to stick to the criteria decided in upstream. If it happens that you hesitate between several bottles fitting in your criteria, refer to the back label which will give you the indications necessary for the choice of this one.

6. Designations

When looking to choose a wine in the supermarket, you will mainly find wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, but do not hesitate to turn to other appellations. They can also be decorated with gratifying macaroons awarded by different competitions. Indeed, their presence in the department is not due to chance! In general, the further south you go, the more intense the wines. For example, Burgundies or wines from the Loire Valley are reputed to be light. While the Languedoc, Côtes-du-Rhône or Médocs from Bordeaux are more powerful wines.

Vin en supermarché

7. Concerning organic wines

For a very long time, many people avoided organic wine. Indeed, the unstable taste and the rather poor quality built its first reputation. However, after a few years and especially the development of their production techniques, we can now enjoy some correct organic wines, even very good. So don’t eliminate organic from the start. Not only you could have surprises, but in addition you will protect your health as well as that of nature, because these products are made without pesticides or chemicals.

If you are looking for a wine that is as environmentally friendly as possible in its design, look for the Demeter label. These wines are produced with the principles of biodynamics and therefore contain much less sulfur and other complementary products.

8. Discover

Wine is above all a simple pleasure, to discover. Seize every tasting opportunity! If you want to become a good wine lover, take advantage of all the wines you have the opportunity to taste. The more wine you taste, the more you will broaden your horizons and know references. Be careful, having tasted a good wine does not mean having it every time! But it will allow you to better orient yourself the next time by choosing, for example, one vintage more than another.

5. Don’t look for inspiration in the department

Searching for a bottle of wine is prepared in the same way as the shopping list. You need to have a price range in mind, if possible the dish that it will accompany… This will greatly help you to target the wine by greatly reducing the choice available in stores. Finally, once at store, it is obviously preferable to stick to the criteria decided in upstream. If it happens that you hesitate between several bottles fitting in your criteria, refer to the back label which will give you the indications necessary for the choice of this one.

6. Designations

When looking to choose a wine in the supermarket, you will mainly find wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy, but do not hesitate to turn to other appellations. They can also be decorated with gratifying macaroons awarded by different competitions. Indeed, their presence in the department is not due to chance! In general, the further south you go, the more intense the wines. For example, Burgundies or wines from the Loire Valley are reputed to be light. While the Languedoc, Côtes-du-Rhône or Médocs from Bordeaux are more powerful wines.

Wine in supermarket

7. Concerning organic wines

For a very long time, many people avoided organic wine. Indeed, the unstable taste and the rather poor quality built its first reputation. However, after a few years and especially the development of their production techniques, we can now enjoy some correct organic wines, even very good. So don’t eliminate organic from the start. Not only you could have surprises, but in addition you will protect your health as well as that of nature, because these products are made without pesticides or chemicals.

If you are looking for a wine that is as environmentally friendly as possible in its design, look for the Demeter label. These wines are produced with the principles of biodynamics and therefore contain much less sulfur and other complementary products.

8. Discover

Wine is above all a simple pleasure, to discover. Seize every tasting opportunity! If you want to become a good wine lover, take advantage of all the wines you have the opportunity to taste. The more wine you taste, the more you will broaden your horizons and know references. Be careful, having tasted a good wine does not mean having it every time! But it will allow you to better orient yourself the next time by choosing, for example, one vintage more than another.

Now, you know how to choosing a wine in the supermarket !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.