British supermarkets have scooped a string of gold medals at the world’s top wine competition for their own-label wines costing as little as £5.99.
Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and Asda shared 12 top awards at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2010, seven of which are priced under £10.
Marks & Spencer topped the table with five golds, the cheapest of which is the Moscatel Rosado, 2009, Spain, at just £5.99.
Sainsbury’s bagged four – including two wines in their Taste the Difference range at £6.99 – while Waitrose took two and Asda one.
British-grown wines brought further success, with vineyards in Cornwall and West Sussex scooping gold medals for only the second time in the competition’s 27-year history.
The IWC, whose winners were announced on Tuesday, was judged by 400 experienced wine tasters and scored on variety, country, region and vintage.
IWC event director Chris Ashton said: ”The range and variety of own-brand supermarket wines is now immense.
”The majority of our English gold medal winners are under £10 and that is absolutely amazing considering the strength of a competition like the IWC.
”Top quality wine for under a tenner is a great testament to the supermarket buying teams who have really excelled themselves in a difficult year.
”The two English sparkling wines which won gold medals have done fantastically well this year – as has the whole of the English sector.”
The two English gold medal winners are a Pinot Noir Rosé Brut, £24.95, from the Camel Valley winery in Cornwall and a Blanc de Blancs, £28.99, grown in Nyetimber, Sussex.
This is only the second time in the IWC’s 27 year history that two British grown wines have achieved gold medals.
British supermarkets won a total of 257 medals (gold, silver and bronze), with Marks & Spencer and Tesco taking home 62 each, Sainsbury’s 59, Asda 56 and Waitrose 18.
However, the top three gold medal-winning nations for 2010 were France with 75, Australia 65 and Portugal 35, from a total of 326 gold medals.
France also topped the medal board overall with a total of 947 medals, while Australia came second with 602 and Italy third with 394.
LIST OF BRITISH OWN-LABEL GOLD MEDAL WINES
* Asda, Extra Special Riesling 2009, Australia, £7.99
* Marks & Spencer, Leitz Rudesheimer Berg Roseneck Riesling, 2008, £18
* Marks & Spencer, Orpale Grand Cru, 1998, France, £50
* Marks & Spencer, Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chalumeaux, 2007, £35
* Marks & Spencer, Vintage Port, 1994, Portugal, £24.99
* Marks & Spencer, Moscatel Rosado, 2009, Spain, £5.99
* Sainsbury’s, Taste the Difference Gavi, 2009, Italy, £6.99
* Sainsbury’s, Taste The Difference Oloroso, Spain, £6.99
* Sainsbury’s, Taste The Difference Barolo, 2006, Italy, £14.99
* Sainsbury’s, Taste The Difference Barossa Shiraz, 2008, Australia, £7.99
* Waitrose, Quinta De La Rosa Douro Valley Reserva, 2008, Portugal, £9.99
* Waitrose, Reserve Shiraz, 2008, Australia, £8.99