Tesco Simply wine range review

Tesco Simply wine labelNot expensive, not unpleasant and not sophisticated – that’s what Tesco’s Simply wine range is all about. Launched in August 2011 with ‘clear and recognisable labelling’ in response to customer intimidation to the ‘wall of wine that greets them in the wine aisle’, the range has proved a success according to James Griswood, Tesco Product Development Manager, despite having almost no publicity and no in-store aisle promotion.

Simply CheninThe range of nineteen wines consists mainly of single varietals which ‘are very important to customers’, says James, ‘and give an easily understood guide to what flavours and style to expect’. Tesco’s Product Development Manager goes on to explain ‘the purpose of the range is to be easy to understand and give a diverse range of great value wines - this is why varietals make up a larger percentage of the range.’

You’ll also find no specific year, or vintage, on the labels. ‘Most customers don't want to have to learn the ins and outs of every vintage from every region. It is time consuming and confusing.’ James expanded by adding: ‘The important factors for the consumers (who the Simply range is aimed at) are where the wine comes from, the varietal and the style. We therefore do not focus on vintage and take this often confusing factor away from the decision process.’

‘It's a flexible range, so, for example, if Australia has a particularly bad vintage for Chardonnay, then we won't stock that vintage. By doing this, customers are guaranteed great quality wines without having to worry about whether it's a good or bad vintage.’

Simply MuscadetAnd James’ favourite wine within the range? The French Muscadet, which is ‘a perfect match to a bowl of steaming mussels.’

Prices start at £3.49 and go up to £5.99. Watch out for the couple of duffers.

PG Tesco Simply Wine Range Review

Whites

Simply South African Chenin Blanc

£3.99

Great value

A very nicely balanced wine with a tropical fruit mix aroma and flavour: expect melon, dried banana, and papaya with a creamy but lemony edge. Long flavours.

Simply French Muscadet

£4.79

Classic Muscadet flavours: lemon, pear and celery dryness. Along with aromas of melon balls, grilled pineapple and pears – smells of the 70s!

Simply Chilean SauvignonSimply Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

£4.79

Confusingly there are two Sauvignon Blancs in the range – one from New Zealand labelled ‘Sauvignon Blanc’ and this one labelled ‘Chilean Sauvignon Blanc’. And it’s the usual gooseberry flavours along with a bit of passion fruit and a creamy finish.

Simply Italian Soave Classico

£4.99

A perfectly pleasant and versatile wine with light banana, lemon and digestive biscuit flavours.

Simply Australian Chardonnay Reserve

£4.99

Slightly more aromatic and floral than the Californian Chardonnay: more apple sponge but with added lemon and pear fruitiness and almond biscotti flavours.

Simply Italian Pinot Grigio

£4.99

A nice medley: pineapple, pear, lime and melon.

Simply RieslingSimply German Riesling

£5.79

Nice example

A well-balanced quaffable Riesling with pear, apple, lemon and a little honey on the taste.

Simply New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

£5.99

Avoid

Paying a pound more for the New Zealand Sauvignon doesn’t get you a better wine – in fact it’s rather weedy with watery gooseberry flavours tempered with some lemon and celery dryness. There are better Sauvignons out there for six quid.

Simply Californian Chardonnay

Product being altered at present so this version may not be available

Apple sponge and creamy custard flavours plus some tinned mandarin and pineapple dryness. Better than your bog standard Chardonnay.

Rosés

Simply Portguese RoseSimply Portuguese Rosé

£3.49

Avoid

Why do all wines sold in ovoid bottles taste so rubbish? Pink lemonade that’s gone flat. Waste of space.

Simply Californian Blush Zinfandel

£4.99

Not reviewed at present.

Reds

Simply French Côtes du Rhone

£3.79

This tastes like a good homemade wine made with hedgerow fruits: blackberry, elderberry and plum flavours along with some dark chocolate. You can also buy this in bulk - 3-litre winebox is £15.49 – which actually works more expensive at an equivalent price of £3.88/bottle. Sort it out Tesco.

Simply ClaretSimply French Claret

£3.99

Quaffable plum sponge and milk chocolate flavours with some black cherry later.

Simply South African Pinotage

£4.29

Surprisingly light flavours for a South African red: sweet blackberry, cherry, plum and redcurrant flavours with some fruity Brown Sauce spiciness.

Simply Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon

£4.79

Blackcurrant, marzipan and dark chocolate flavours. A classic Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon.

Simply Italian Chianti

£4.79

Simple cherry and coffee flavours.

Simply ZinfandelSimply Californian Zinfandel

£4.99

Expensive

More homebrew flavours (which is quite usual with Zinfandel): sloe, plum and some earthy malty sweetness. Too expensive.

Simply Australian Shiraz Reserve

£5.79

Expensive

Sweet blackberry and liquorice flavours, but with a harsh burnt edge. More South African than Australian in taste. There are better examples at this price.

Simply Pinot Noir

£5.99

Not reviewed at present.

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