Blog: Chris Brook-CarterWell, I'm sorry, Mr Consumer, but you're wrong!

Chris Brook-Carter | 4 March 2005

A report on wines available in the UK by consumer association Which? earlier this week concluded that more than a quarter of wines sold in the UK comes from 11 large companies and nearly all represent bad value for money.

The organisation brought together a panel of professional wine tasters and critics to test the bestselling brands in the UK. Their verdict? “There were some passable wines but, in general, this was a shocking experience,” one taster said. Indeed, only one wine was awarded a “best buy” score – Lindemans Cawarra Cabernet Merlot 2004 – and that was primarily because, at £4.99, it was considered good value.

So, what have we learnt? One can’t help but think that the main conclusion is that you can sell anything to UK wine consumers as long as its marketed and packaged well. If they’ll drink Blossom Hill, E&J Gallo and Jacob’s Creek, for example, they’ll drink anything, yes?

Perhaps. But who decides whats good value for Joe Public? The fact is that Joe won't drink it if Joe doesn't like it. And if Joe is happy with his bottle of wine at the price he has paid, then surely that represents good value?

To educate and enlighten UK wine drinkers to what’s good in the way of wine can only be of benefit to everyone. But surely, to tell them that what they are buying in their droves is “shocking”? Well, that’s only half of the learning process covered.


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