Paula’s Wines of the Week – 02 April 2023

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 02 April 2023

Do embossed wine labels indicate a bargain bottle?

Embossed wine labels are the thing to look out for on bottles priced under £5. Tesco’s Vista Castelli Trebbiano D’Abbruzzo 2021 priced at £4.25 got us discussing label design here at WineUncorked HQ when the embossed feature of the castle logo on the lower half on the front label was spotted.

Why bother we wondered? With the bottle price at a low, low £4.25 and the profit margin small (about £1.20 a bottle even with the latest VAT announcements) why would the wine bottler even bother to add in an expensive extra like embossing the label when the consumer is more concerned with amounts of pence when comparing bottles rather than how nice the bottle feels when it is picked up?

So, what’s in it for the wine bottler? The only conclusion we reached was that the wine itself was at some point going to be selling at a higher price and so was worth spending the extra to make the label have “feel appeal” but this got junked and the wine ended up at the bargain end of the price structure (here in the UK that is).

So is Tesco’s Vista Castelli Trebiano D’Abruzzo a great wine? Well it scores a maximum 5-star rating here at WineUncorked and that’s both down to the price and the flavour. This wine could add another £1 to the selling price and it would still score 5-stars. A bargain bottle indeed. It’s worth looking out for embossed labels on bargain bottles.
Bargain bottles recommended by

Vista Castelli Trebbiano D’Abruzzo 2021
£4.25 Tesco
A great value Italian white wine at just over £4 a bottle – as wines at under £5 are becoming rarer then this one is worth a try. Nice balance of flavours – buttery apple and pear with a lime overlay. A good everyday table wine with a posh label.

Casa Mana Chardonnay 2021
£3.79 Tesco (also in ¼ bottles, 187ml, for £1.60)
The price of this bottle is so low it might either a) put you off as you’d think it can’t taste nice at this price, or b) make you clap your hands in delight at such a bargain bottle. I am in camp b. This Spanish Chardonnay has lots of lemon freshness on the taste along with creamy apple and peach. Easy and quaffable and not horrid!

Co-op Irresistible Marsanne du Languedoc 2021
£8 Co-op
Made with the Marsanne grape variety that gives floral and fruity flavours in the final wine (rather similar to another white grape variety called Viognier). Subtle aromas of pears and lemon honey followed by flavours of melon with some wood shavings and some apple acidity to balance. A nice mix of flavours. Worth the £8 a bottle even with its truly terrible label design that makes the sketch of the person with the flowing locks look like an adolescent with acne.

Mad Fish Sauvignon Blanc 2022
£6.99 Morrisons, £7.25 Iceland, Ocado £8.50, £8.99 Waitrose, £9.50 Tesco
A nice tasting Australian Sauvignon Blanc that’s available at many supermarkets named after a remote beach and not a type of fish. But watch out for the price. At time of review prices ranged from a reasonable £6.99 at Morrisons to an eye-watering £9.50 at Tesco. So think carefully before buying at your usual supermarket – it could be £3 cheaper elsewhere! Flavours are crisp and fruity: apple, melon, and lime with a lightly floral aroma rather like rose petals. A creamy coconut note balances things out.

Vina Zorzal Garnacha 2021
£8.50 Wine Society
Up a pound in price from last year when I reviewed the 2019 vintage but it’s still a nice wine. Flavours are continuing to be fresh with tart blackcurrant flavours but softened with some toffee sweetness. A light red with a pretty label showing the silhouette of multi-coloured bird.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2023