Wine expert on the best options at UK supermarkets - and those that 'taste like 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


The wine you should buy at supermarkets - and one to avoid that 'tastes like cold sick' - have been revealed by an expert. Even the most clued-up wine aficionado might admit that the selection available on supermarket shelves, with usually at least an entire aisle occupied by thousands of bottles, can be dizzyingly vast. This makes selecting a high-quality yet affordable wine quite a challenge.

Is it feasible to purchase premium taste for less than 10 quid per bottle? Its here where wine expert Tom Gilbey becomes incredibly useful.

With vast knowledge on all things wine and armed with valuable advice, he suggests that one of the world's top-selling wines tastes "worse than cold sick", while another is labelled as "the most disgusting wine I have ever put in my mouth".

On the other hand, he points out that good quality doesnt always mean expensive and indeed, one of the world's best-selling wines, widely available in all supermarkets, is actually quite decent.

If you're questioning his credibility, bear in mind that he blind-tasted 26 different wines during the London Marathon (one a mile) and only got four wrong, reports Wales Online.

What is the verdict on supermarket wines- worth the bang for the buck or not?

Tom provides an insightful analysis of those everyday supermarket wines we pick up without really knowing if spending extra pennies could make a difference. He deems his "emergency spittoon" handy for some but interestingly, mentions that one, conveniently found at your local petrol station, is rather agreeable.

Jam Shed

Tom's opinion of the Jam Shed Australian Shiraz was negative, saying: "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."

Campo Viejo

On the other hand, Tom had a much more positive experience with Campo Viejo: "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 Australian Sauvignon, named after the 19 crimes that could have seen Brits shipped off to Australia in bygone days, raises the question: is the wine itself a criminal offence?

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 two Chardonnays are flying off the shelves, but which one should you take home if you had to choose?

Tom weighs in: "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 bottles, which these are? Something that's not going to make me sick."

Upon tasting the Yellow Tail, Tom's reaction is immediate and negative, as he spits it out and exclaims: "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 tastes the Barefoot and quickly reaches for the emergency spittoon again: "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 declares, "If you have to, it's the Barefoot" while holding up the Yellow Tail bottle, he gives this scathing critique: "If I am rating all the things I have put in my mouth this comes slightly below cold sick."

Casillero Del Diablo.

As the world's second-largest wine brand, Casillero Del Diablo's Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, priced at about £8 per bottle, was also put to the test by Tom with a 2021 vintage. He comments: "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."