How to Avoid Buying Crappy Wine at the Supermarket

Ross Gardiner
(Photo: )

There's a lot a shite wine out there. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that the average supermarket is packed with subpar wine. And that can be an excruciating thing to navigate if you can't get to your local wine store, or just want to grab something cheap and reliable without having to have a conversation about it.

While a bulk of the wine is garbage, there are always some gems tucked in there that your eyes can sadly skim over. We're going to help you navigate this headf**k and pick out a killer bottle every time you hit the store.


Learn a bit about wine

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Image via Amazon

Think about buying wine like betting on horses: If you do your homework, read up on the animal's condition and consider the weather you're going to have a much higher chance of success than the guy that picks a horse based on its name.

Get a book on wine, or click here and get busy!


Learn to read the labels

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Deduction is a hugely important part of tasting wine, though it can also be applied to choosing a bottle of wine. How much do you want to spend? Do you want red or white? New world or old world? If Old World, which region? If New World, which grape? This will help to narrow hundreds of bottles down to a much more manageable number.


Consider the other items you have in your basket

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You might have noticed that most of the time, wine follows food. Most people choose their food and then pick a wine to match, so look into your basket and try to pick a bottle that will pair well with your grub.

If you happened to be of the microwavable persuasion, check out our video with Club W on pairing great wine with nuclear meals!


Download Vivino

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Image via Vivino

Or Delectable, or or one of these wine label scanning apps that will help you so much when you're spacing out in the bottle aisle of the supermarket. Vivino has a great function that ranks the bottles in each particular store based on user opinion, which will help you get the best bottle for your money. 


Stay away from funny

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Steering clear of humorous wine is almost always a good decision. Beer is allowed to be funny because the culture permits it to be so, but wine has to be deadly serious. And while we don't agree with that, it might as well be a fact that "serious wine" is always better than "funny wine".

Zinfandel is the only wine that has carte blanche with regards to its tone. It's often "funny", but the best Zins are presented stoically.


Don't buy anything that isn't in a bottle

Again, this is something we wish wasn't the case. We love the alternative packaging movement and hope that at some point in the future people will be pouring all of their wine out of plastic bladders, Tetra Paks and leaf baggies, but sadly the bulk of "boxed" wine is garbage.

Perhaps one day it'll different, but until that day you should always buy bottles to be safe.


Feel the label

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This is one of our favorite indicators of a low-grade wine. If a producer has opted to print on noticeably cheap paper you can be fairly certain that corners might well have been cut in other areas too.

Look for embossed letters and gold trim. Mmmmm…classy.

Do you have any favorite supermarket wines that you'd like to share? Let us know!

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