Expert reveals the best wines at supermarkets and the one that is 'worse than cold sick'

Wine expert Tom Gilbey with a bottle of Jam Shed
Wine expert Tom Gilbey with a bottle of Jam Shed -Credit:Tom Gilbey

Supermarket wines can be a minefield, with entire aisles packed full of bottles.

With thousands of bottles to choose from, it can seem almost impossible to single out a good quality, value for money tipple amidst this sea of choices. But wine lovers need not despair, as wine connoisseur Tom Gilbey has stepped in to lend his expertise.

He claims one of the world's best selling wines tastes "worse than cold sick" and another is "the most disgusting wine" he has ever put in his mouth. However, there's also comfort to be had as he suggests that a fortune doesn't need to be spent to secure a pleasing bottle, with one globally popular option being great.

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Confidence in Tom's opinion can be assured knowing he successfully blind-tasted 26 different wines during the London Marathon, misidentifying only four, reports Wales Online. So which supermarket wines give you bang for your buck and which are best avoided?

Tom delves into the frequently purchased favourites, aiming to guide on whether paying a few extra quid is worth it or not. His "emergency spittoon" proves helpful for some but surprisingly, a respectable option could be procured from a nearby petrol station.

Jam Shed

Tom, a wine expert, sampled a £7.50 Australian Shiraz and compared its sweetness to that of black cherry jam. He said: "Is Jam Shed the worst wine in the world? There's quite a few people who think Jam Shed is the worst wine in the world.

"There is a beautiful aroma of jam but I am not getting much shed. Jam Shed is sweeter than jam. It is the most disgusting wine I have ever put in my mouth."

Jam Shed currently has a 3.4 out of 5 star rating on Tesco's website and reviews are certainly mixed. However, one Tesco shopper said: "Lovely rich jammy wine and a great price as well. Better than some more expensive red wines. Highly recommended."

Campo Viejo

He also tasted Campo Viejo and said: "Campo Viejo is the best selling supermarket wine under £10 a bottle. You are a big dog. It smells quite good, fruity, juicy, a little bit of vanilla from the oak.

"I like this. It is soft, fleshy and there's a little bit of tannin. For £7.50 a bottle you are banging. It's probably available at most petrol stations."

19 Crimes

This Aussie Sauvignon is named after the 19 crimes Brits could be shipped to Australia for committing in yesteryears. But is the wine itself a crime?

Here's Tom's verdict: "It has a nice, rich, juicy colour and there are tears and legs running down the glass, which means it has a bit of body. The smell is a little bit of black cherry, blackberry and smokiness, I like that.

"It's actually not bad. I would describe that as the transition between alcoholic fruit juice to becoming a wine. If I was eating something I would not be desperately upset to be served that. For £10 it gets a thumbs up from me."

Yellow Tail and Barefoot

These are incredibly popular, top-selling Chardonnays. But which should you opt for, if you must choose one? Tom's said: "Yellow Tail, from Australia, sells more wines in the USA than the whole of France put together. Barefoot, from California, has won more than 10,000 medals and is made by Gallo who make more than 3% of the world's wines."

"What am I looking for in £7 to £8 a bottles, which these are? Something that's not going to make me sick." Sampling the Yellow Tail, Tom immediately spits it out adding: "That's not worth the units. Hence my emergency spittoon.

"It's like a crushed up, gloopy, pineapple juice, sweety thing that I really, really don't want to drink anything of. And it tastes nothing like I'd imagine a Chardonnay."

Next, he takes a sip of the Barefoot and reaches again for the emergency spittoon and said: "It's not worth the units, but it has got less sugar. It hasn't got a lot of flavour. It doesn't really taste of Chardonnay, but it's an OK wine."

Tom added: "If you have to, it's the Barefoot", while holding up the Yellow Tail bottle, he shares his scathing expert opinion: "If I am rating all the things I have put in my mouth this comes slightly below cold sick."

Yellow Tail Chardonnay currently has a 4.2 star rating out of 5 on Tesco's website with one shopper describing it as "good quality". They said: "Buying this Chardonnay from Tesco for three years or more, always good quality light chardonnay."

Barefoot Chardonnay has a 4.1 star rating out of 5 from 58 Tesco reviews. One shopper said: "If you like wine you will definitely like this barefoot buttery Chardonnay wine. It is very smooth and does have a buttery taste to it."

Casillero Del Diablo

As the world's second-largest wine brand, Casillero Del Diablo's Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile is priced around £8 per bottle. Tom sampled a 2021 vintage, he said: "I am looking for blackcurrant fruit and creaminess and a bit of tannin.

"It has a nice colour, nice body and a few tears and legs. It is 13% alcohol. It smells of blackcurrant, vanilla and smokiness. Maybe it's because these guys also make wine at £100 to £150 a bottle and for this they have actually done quite a good job. It tastes like a wine, it tastes like a Cabernet. It's better than 19 Crimes, it's a winner."

For those curious about which wines to pick when out at popular bars and restaurants, Tom's advice can be found here.

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