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A New Slant on Supermarket Promotions

As well as a “heads up” about supermarket promotions, today sees a new feature showing you how to use them to be more adventurous.

Here is my regular review of High Street promotions but I am phasing in a few changes to the layout and the charts.

The new feature promised in the heading is Optimising Opportunities, which expands on the idea of using promotions to try something different without risking too much money.

If I were a marketing specialist, I would call it “controlled adventurism” – so it’s probably a good job I am not!

Just as many retailers as before are included in the main data though.

I hope that the changes appeal but, if not, I am sure you will let me know one way or another.

Hyperlinks and pictures, where possible, are retained to make it easier to find the wine in a crowded display or on a sizeable website

Optimising Opportunities

One of life’s big current inhibitors seems to be the mirror image of FOMO – in other words FOWM (the fear of wasting money, rather than of missing out).

Especially as things get tighter, that is an understandable concern even if it means that valuable discoveries go … well, undiscovered.

To offer a wine-based antidote, I am experimenting with an “Optimising Opportunities” feature.

The idea is to suggest something from a supermarket promotion that may not be an obvious choice but could be well worth trying while the price is reduced – and I tell you why.

So, let’s have a go.

Over three hundred years ago, Tuscany’s Chianti region became the world’s first “delimited wine zone” but the intervening years have not all been plain sailing.

Barone Ricasoli attempted to bring order to chianti in the 1870s while the “Super Tuscans”, for good reasons, sought to disrupt it radically a hundred years later.

Basically, though, wine lovers came to recognise chianti as robust red wine with flavours of cherries and nuts usually wrapped in the firm tannin that works well with heartier components of Tuscany’s cuisine.

Two good harvests in the last decade helped to reinforce that reputation for powerful wines but as the “teen years” closed, softer and lighter versions began to emerge – and to gain followers.

That trend was sustained by wines made by the traditional Governo technique which adds partly dried grapes to new wine.

The result re-ferments over winter to create wine that is softer, less dense and ready sooner than conventional chianti.

I think that the increased use of this technique will help win chianti even more friends.

And for an example

The reason for telling you this is that Tesco have one such wine on offer at the moment.

With cherry and pomegranate flavours, 2020 Melini Chianti Governo (£7 – instead of £9 until 28 March – with a Tesco Clubcard) has a surprisingly light, bright texture that also contains spicy savouriness and is well supported by subtle acidity.

Do give it a try while the price is at this level.

For an alternative, you might consider the similarly light in colour and modestly textured 2020 Cecchi Chianti Governo all’uso Toscano (from £8.99 at Majestic 13%) that will give you bold loganberry and cherry flavours accompanied by firm acidity and hints of thyme and allspice, yet only limited tannin. 

Returning to the Round Up of Promotions.

Incidentally, picking up on a much-appreciated point MidWeeker Ian made, I am changing the “Typical Content” heading to “Worth Exploring” as each chart is renewed.

This directs attention to wines at especially noteworthy prices or where my experience with previous vintages created a positive impression.

Since their number and the time-scale prevents me from sampling them all, these are “steers” rather than specific recommendations.

The three-price level approach has been preserved though.  

Starting, then with the new promotions

Two new sets of deals – Co-op and Morrisons – have been launched since we last spoke and here are the details.

Both run until 5 April and the Morrisons promotion also contains “Three for £15” multi-buys on, largely, branded wines but this does not apply in Scotland where such promotions are not permitted.

Let me also add a quick word about that Best Toscana.

Medium bodied but with impressive intensity, it exhibits red currant, plum and cherry flavours supplemented by good acidity but firm tannin and traces of vanilla, roses and menthol.

Ongoing Promotions

The deals at Tesco and M&S I mentioned last week continue and, as well as the Tesco chianti mentioned in the feature item, remember that M&S deals include beer that may justify your attention this time around.

Sunset Corner

Three promotions end before the next issue of this guide and these appear below in the usual way.

As a final action before the Sainsbury’s deals close, you might like to consider the Rocca Murer Pinot Grigio Trentino (£6 – instead of £7) as I found the last vintage really enjoyable.

It provided soft, red apple and pear flavours supported by gentle lemon acidity, hints of honey and white peach but with a savoury edge too.

In Lidl

The weekend special in Scottish and Welsh Lidl Stores is the core range Gavi (down from £6.99 to £4.99 from 17 to 23 March).

As before, the equivalent English promotion is only for 48 hours (18-20 March) but brings Australian merlot down to £3.29 (from £4.49) and also has an 80p reduction on South African Chenin.

I have not tried the current vintage of any of these wines so do report back if you take advantage of those offers.

Drop by again on Monday when I reveal the latest Top Tips on what to buy right now while next Thursday sees more details of the supermarket promotions then in place.

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4 Responses

  1. OK Barry. Let the experimenation continue and see how you and other susbcribers feel about them.

  2. Hi Brian. Got the Tesco chianti and just opened it and tried. I can tell without drinking a whole lot of it that it’s rather good and better still for a £9 bottle that I might have passed on had it not been £7. Mind you, my better half shopped for it and treated me so it came on an even better deal!!! Will have it with a roasted duck leg at teat time today. That governo style certainly takes away any edginess and tannins that sangiovese often brings to the table, although I thrive on that style too. But softer than chianti often is and the ripe fruit is wonderful. As for the style of the postings you provide I can’t say I have a problem with layout etc. But I would say that I much prefer you giving your opinion specifically on stuff you’ve tried and will recommend, more than just giving a list of things that are there to choose from for us to find out for ourselves. We can do that whenever we like anyway from the usual suppliers but in the meantime some expert advice certainly does not go amiss. Thank you as ever ….

  3. Glad you enjoyed the Governo. As you say, the style is certainly softer and those traditional heavier styles are less in vogue at the moment – and tannin certainly isn’t. It is always nice too for something traditional to receive increased prominence -possibly underlining the old adage “what goes round, comes round”. Thanks for layout and associated points, I shall keep tweeking this as it does not feel completely right yet.

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