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Sainsbury’s Basics Red Wine

Welcome to the column which takes a hedonistic voyage into the world of wine within the average student’s meagre budget. This week I’m reviewing Sainsbury’s Basics Red Table Wine, which has the slightly ironic tag-line of ‘for the table, not the cellar’, suggesting that someone inside Sainsbury’s marketing department has a sense of humour.

I began drinking this wine in my first Welcome Week – too much was consumed and drinking it now brings back memories that are best forgotten. These days it comes in a plastic bottle, is 11% abv instead of 13% and tragically costs £3.20 rather than £2.29; there are now cheaper and classier ways to predrink.

Another problem I have with this wine is that it has no date, making it impossible to know whether it comes from a vintage year. However I suspect it wasn’t… On inspection, the colour of the wine is a deep, murky purple. Wine connoisseurs know that young wines tend to have a darker hue because with age the pigments degrade. Judging by the colour, this wine was probably brewed in someone’s boot about a week ago.

On the nose (smelling), the wine was underwhelming. After a vigorous swirl in the glass, the only aromas I was able to distinguish were raisins, turpentine and red dye – a sumptuous bouquet it was not. With reluctance, I tasted. Although light and vinegary there were some undistinguishable red fruits smuggled inside the otherwise bland palate. Whilst not entirely unpleasant, the finish was long, bitter and headache inducing. In its defence it’s better than Lambrusco or Superboss and it’s great to serve at a dinner party if you openly dislike your guests.

To conclude, the main problem with this wine – other than its taste – is that there’s no reason to buy it. If you’re a cheap bastard you can buy three bottles of Gaffs’ Special for less or pay £1 more and get something quaffable. I think the only acceptable moment to drink this wine is with a reduced Sainsbury’s steak that’s crying out for liquid accompaniment. Or perhaps when drunk out of a paper bag while lying on top of some bins in an alleyway, wondering what happened to your life.

Taste 1/5

Value 2/5

Hangover factor 4/5



Tags: Drinks Corner

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