Booths named Supermarket of the Year in the People’s Choice Wine Awards

Christine Austin brings you up to date with the latest goings on in the world of wine, as well as her top tipples for the week.

Booths win award

Everyone in the North knows that Booths is a tremendously good supermarket, but now the rest of the country has discovered it too. In the People’s Choice Wine Awards, judged by consumers, Booths won both Wine Supermarket of the Year, and Spirits Supermarket of the Year. They beat off strong competition from Aldi, Co-op and Waitrose to win these awards and it is a remarkable achievement because their buyer, Victoria Anderson is buying for just 27 stores, compared with Aldi’s 1000 stores.

Now some of the Booths range is available by mail order, which means that the rest of the country can discover just how good they are.

Victoria Anderson, Booths wine buyerVictoria Anderson, Booths wine buyer
Victoria Anderson, Booths wine buyer

Happy 150th Birthday

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There are not many wine bottles with the words ‘Britain at war with Germany’, on the label but rather than stirring up European discord, this is just one of the wines in The Wine Society’s new Generation Series. The Wine Society was founded in 1874 and was the result of finding a stash of Portuguese wines languishing in the cellars of The Royal Albert Hall. They should have been poured at a major international exhibition but had been forgotten. So, a series of lunches were arranged to show these ‘foreign wines’ and they went down so well that The Wine Society was established.

Now 150 years old The Wine Society is looking back to wines that have been on the list from the start. Remembering the first 50 years, Régnié would have been listed as Beaujolais Villages and the 2022 vintage in this special offer (£12.50), is bright and full of juicy cherry fruit. Also on the label there is a drawing of the cellars leased by The Wine Society in 1902 which must have been a haven of quiet until they built the Palladium theatre on top. Other wines in this series include a delicious Haut-Médoc 2019 (£14.95) from Ch. Beaumont which has been supplying The Wine Society for decades, and a Portuguese wine, Bucelas (£13.50), which may well have been among the original lost parcel of wines. Thankfully this is the 2022 vintage, so the flavours are fresh.

Greatest Hits in Harrogate

Ake and Humphris will hold a tasting of their six most popular wines on Thursday 28 March in their store on Leeds Road starting at 8pm. Tickets cost £20, ring 01423 566009 to reserve your place.

Christine Austin’s wines of the week

El Jardin de Ana Godello 2022, Monterrei, Spain, 12.5%, Tesco, down from £10.50 to £8 until April 22 (Clubcard holders only): Spring is on its way so head for this soft, floral, herbal and apricot-tinged wine.

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Journey’s End Spekboom Sauvignon Blanc 2022, 13%, Sainsbury’s, down from £11 to £9 until April 2: A stylish Sauvignon, with herbal notes among lime and gooseberry freshness. “Spekboom” refers to the succulent trees planted on the estate to absorb carbon dioxide.

The Best Primitivo 2021, Puglia, Italy, 13.5%, Morrisons down from £8.75 to 6 until April 2: From the sun-soaked “heel” of Italy, this is ripe, soft and full of dark plum fruit, finished with chocolate and spice notes.​

Henriques & Henriques 5-Year rich Madeira, 19%, Booths, down from £13.75 to £11.75 for 50cl, until April 9: If there is Simnel cake for afternoon tea next weekend, then pour a glass of mellow, nutty, raisiny Madeira alongside. Serve just slightly chilled.​

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