Marks & Spencer tops medals bill in International Wine Challenge with 73 gongs for own-brand wine

Anyone wanting to impress their friends and family with top vino this Christmas need look no further than their local supermarket, as the International Wine Challenge has today awarded a flurry of medals to own-brand wines following Tranche One of its blind tastings.

A total of 184 Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded to supermarket own-brand wines, with Marks & Spencer trouncing the competition picking up 73 gongs, more than twice as many medals as its closest rival Tesco which received 32.

Marks & Spencer received five Gold medals for wines from France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, highlighting the prowess of its international buying team for selecting fine wines from all over Europe.

Its 2013 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico that retails at just £8 was a particular favourite of the judges. The premium retailer, named IWC Supermarket of the Year 2014, also picked up 21 Silver medals and 47 Bronze medals in this round of the competition.

Next in the medals chart was Tesco, which received four Gold medals, eight Silver medals and 20 Bronze medals. The supermarket’s Finest 2007 Vintage Grand Cru Champagne, which retails at less than £25, picked up a Gold medal and is sure to have shoppers tussling in the aisles this Christmas.

Tesco also showed star quality in the sweet and sherry category, picking up Gold medals for its 2009 Finest Dessert Semillon (RRP £6.79) as well as its Finest NV Amontillado Sherry, which retails at just £6 and was the cheapest own-brand wine to strike Gold at the competition.

Morrisons received a Gold medal for its own-brand NV Amontillado Sherry (RRP £6.99) as well as picking up Gold for its Signature Chablis 1er Cru (RRP £14.99) and its Signature Grüner Veltliner (£6.99). The supermarket picked up a total of 30 medals, including 14 Silver and 13 Bronze.

Budget supermarket Aldi receive a single Gold medal for its 2014 The Exquisite Collection Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc which retails at just £7.99. It also received a single Silver medal and eight Bronze medals.

Waitrose received three Silver medals, including one for its non-vintage Brut Champagne (RRP £19.99). The supermarket also received 12 Bronze medals.

The Co-operative Supermarket received a total of 10 medals, with two Silver and eight Bronze medals. ASDA picked up three Silver and four Bronze medals, whilst Sainsbury’s received two Silver and four Bronze medals.

Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the IWC, said: “We have discovered some outstanding supermarket own-brand wines during this first tranche of the competition, which would definitely bring a touch of elegance to any Christmas table. All the major supermarkets performed very well. They have very good buying teams. It’s hard work, and Britain is lucky to have supermarket buyers who can source great wines across the entire range and to suit any budget.”

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