Cans and quarters: The £2.99 wine is alive in smaller sizes
The £2.99 wine is still with us. There are still a few bottles to be found (14 listed in UK supermarkets as March 2021) but there are others at this price range – instead of looking for full-sized 75cl bottles search for wine in cans and quarters.
The small sized quarter bottle holds 187ml (also known as a miniature or S/S single serving) and contains enough for a glass and a half of wine. Which is a handy volume for one person to accompany one meal and also works as a grab-and-go meal idea for picnics or when you want to try something different but don’t want to fork out for a full bottle of wine.
Their popularity has never been huge and so this means the range of wines is small but convenience stores like the Co-op and SPAR are the place to shop for the largest selection. But thanks to online retailers like Laithwaites the 187ml quarter bottle has had a bit of a resurgence and you can now buy 14 of their wines in this size or try the Miniatures Mixed Case of 12 for £29.88 (price as September 2021, equivalent to £2.49 each).
Restaurants and bars are another place to search out the quarter bottle size and the brand Oliver & Greg’s are popular. Simple tasting single grape varieties is what these wines are about and they can also be found in a few online retailers like Battlefield Beers and Parsley Box selling at £2.99 or under.
Aluminium cans are a more fashionable way to buy smaller volumes of wine and the 250ml (a third of a bottle) holds enough for two glasses. Trend setting comes at a price and many of the newer brands (see Canned Wine Co reviews) on the market sell at around £5-6 each. Which is going some when you consider that this equates to £15-18 if bought as a full-sized 75cl bottle. But more established brands like Most Wanted do have wine in cans (200ml) for around £2-3.
Hard Seltzers is another alcohol product sold in cans and sells for around £2 a go. This blend of wine, fruit and sparkling water has a lower alcohol level than wine (4-5% alcohol by volume rather than wine which is 12-14%) and has added bicarbonate of soda to give the added “hard” flavour. So you either love them or you don’t but they are cheap.
So the £2.99 wine ain’t dead yet.
£2.99 and under wines reviewed by wineuncorked.co.uk
Visionaro Bianco Bianco Trevenezie 2019
£2.99 Laithwaites in 187ml bottle (quarter size), £11.99 for 75cl
A nice quaffable Italian white with flavours of apple and mandarin with a touch of lemon.
Cabaline 2018 Pays D’Oc red
£2.99 Laithwaites in 187ml bottle (quarter size)
This French red blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan has intense aromas of blackberry which is matched on the taste along with a touch of toffee and liquorice. Great flavours but it’s a shame they lose their intensity so very quickly.
Oliver and Greg’s Chardonnay
£2.99 187ml bottle Parsley Box, 75cl bottle £6.23 Battlefield Beers
Oliver and Greg’s is a brand you’ll see in pubs and restaurants where customers want the option of single servings of wine as well as the full bottle version. The wines are fruity but not distinct so don’t expect huge flavours. This Australian Chardonnay has flavours of apples and oaky creaminess.
Oliver and Greg’s Chilean Merlot
£1.87 Battlefield Beers in 187ml bottles (quarter size) sold as 24x187ml at £37.76 or £6.23 for 75cl bottle
What a great wine it is. Smooth and creamy with a spicy edge with flavours of plum and violets making this is more like a Shiraz. Also available in 75cl bottles at £6.23 from the same retailer, Battlefield Beers.
Trapiche Argentinean Malbec 2018
£2.30 Co-op (187ml, quarter bottle), £8 Co-op (75cl standard bottle)
Flavours of Black Forest gateaux with added apple sourness stops this tasting too rich. Available in the “mini” quarter bottle size of 187ml and also in the standard 75cl size.
Most Wanted Pinot Grigio Fizz, served in a 200ml can, 11.5% alc
This is the white version of the sparkling pink produced by Most Wanted. This time the wine is from a named single country – Hungary – but it’s made in the same way with carbon dioxide gas passed through to create the sparkle. These soon disappear in the glass to leave a wine that smells vaguely fruity and tastes of apple and lemon.
Barefoot Wine Seltzer Pineapple and Passionfruit Flavoured
£1.80 Tesco (250ml can)
This 4% alcohol drink is a mix of sparkling water with wine and natural fruit flavours. The natural fruit flavours are well represented on the aroma (remember those sweets called pineapple cubes?) but the wine element has got lost. The flavour is all fizzy mineral water with some slight pineapple flavour that quickly disappears. Why bother?
The wineuncorked.co.uk wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:
5* outstanding – the top rating given by wineuncorked.co.uk
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 2021 www.wineuncorked.co.uk