Wine has become a massive market in the UK over the last few years. More and more people are drinking wine and are becoming more discerning in their taste as they get to know the different styles of wine available. But what is the difference between buying wine in the supermarket and buying wine online? Is there a difference and if there is, which is the best way to buy wine?
Buying wine in a supermarket has become easier over the years. There is also more choice now than there has been and the wine section incorporates a wide variety of wines, even in the smaller supermarkets across the UK. Supermarkets usually stock wine from the mass producers. They may have a few wines from smaller wineries but in general they go for producers who can fulfil the demand of their many stores across the country. This means that the wine on the supermarket shelves is at a really good price. Because the supermarkets buy such huge amounts of wine they are able to get bulk rates and therefore can afford to sell it off cheaper than other outlets might be able to. The up side of this is that you can be sure the wine you buy will not break the bank. Also, because the supermarkets want to sell wines in greater quantities, the wine will usually be fairly good quality.
The downside of buying in a supermarket is that the wines will not be different; they are aimed at a mass market and therefore will be selected for their generic qualities that will appeal to the majority of people. Because the wines come from mass producers, it is unlikely that they’d appeal to connoisseurs with more discerning tastes. Drinking wine from a supermarket will never be like drinking wine in a different country from a local vineyard.
Buying wine from an online independent wine retailer is a different story. Because they are not buying for a huge market they are able to negotiate with smaller wine producers. They are less likely to stock the same labels as you are familiar with from the supermarket. Instead they will stock alternatives which will have more in common with the wines you have tasted whilst on your travels.
Just because they are dealing with smaller companies doesn’t mean that their prices will be prohibitive either. The online independent wine retailer doesn’t have the same overheads as the supermarkets and so can still offer great deals. What’s more, by using an online independent wine retailer you will be able to read about the wine before you buy, compare it to wines you have liked before and have it delivered straight to your door.
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Fiona Muller has been writing for over 20 years. She is a qualified journalist and has worked in food and drink writing for the last few years and advising on how to buy wine online. To find out more about buying wine online go to laithwaites.co.uk
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