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Survival Plans for Prosecco Shortage.

Usually convenience store wine shelves mean limited choice, higher prices and - sometimes - patchy quality. Come with me though to a retailer represented in most towns and villages that skilfully averts all three of those drawbacks and also has a great option for any prosecco famine.

Life is comparatively tough for a Co-op buyer. As well as the challenges all their rivals face, they also have to tackle the economic and space constraints of convenience store operations. Nevertheless, those guys still source some terrific wines – including a great value alternative for a “well know Italian fizz”. So here are three impressive elements of their current promotion; all would grace the shelves of any retailer.

Although these offers all end on 9 June, my judgements on the wines themselves should hold good for at least three months from the date of the post.

Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.

When the Prosecco runs out.

A feasible prosecco alternative
A feasible prosecco alternative

Forget the election, real controversy was fired by reports of the depleted 2014 harvest creating a prosecco shortage later in the year. So, here is a palatable emergency replacement.

With its small, lively bubbles and savoury edge, 2013 Codorniu Gran Cremant Cava (£6.99 instead of £9.99) is classy stuff especially given its orchard fruit, biscuity depth and the gentle lemon acidity that it also brings to the party.

 Measured but complex sauvignon

Subtle and restrained sauvignon
Subtle and restrained sauvignon

Sauvignon from the Loire tends to be subdued and subtle with the fruit elements less bold than New Zealand equivalents.
For example, 2013 La Grille Sauvignon Blanc (£6.49 instead of £7.49) has restrained floral and apple components but, admittedly, still finishes with a crisp and sharp, sherbet-based flourish and underlying hints of blackcurrant.

 Smooth and trendy red

Grenache goes south
Grenache goes south

Grenache (garnacha) has long been a star performer in Southern France and Spain but it has recently become fashionable elsewhere – and especially in South Australia.

Judge for yourself by sampling 2013 Yalumba Old Bush Vines Grenache (down £1 to £9.99) with its spicy nose, soft texture, minimal tannin and agreeable acidic edge that all neatly supplement the raspberry, chocolate and black cherry flavours it delivers rather well.


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