Great online wines to add to your basket | Wine

by Amazon Our Selection Côtes du Rhône Villages, France 2021 (£8.79, I’ve bought a lot of weird stuff from Amazon over the years, heaven help me, and at all times of the day and night, but until now a bottle of wine has never joined the off-brand charging cables, huge cubes of olive oil soap and “used, very good” books in my basket. That’s not for want of trying on the part of Amazon, which of course – of course! – has wine as part of its bewildering, apparently infinite product mix, and has done so for some years. But with the grocery retail market now apparently a key target growth area, the company seems to be taking wine more seriously than ever – to the extent that it has now launched a selection of Amazon-branded wines. After tasting a few samples sent to me by Amazon’s UK PR firm, I can’t say I’d be likely to add Amazon to my list of preferred wine merchants. But if a bottle of the robust, spicy Côtes du Rhône somehow made it through the checkout, I certainly wouldn’t feel the need to send it back.

Kumeu River Village Chardonnay, Auckland, New Zealand 2021 (from £13, Booths; Actually, the Amazon wines I tasted are much better than I’ve made that sound – and certainly much better than I expected. Both the supple and perfumed Mendoza Malbec 2021 (£7.69, and the zesty lime and gooseberry-scented Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2022 (£7.99) are good, reasonably priced versions of their type, as good as some of the better supermarket own-labels of the same style at the same sort of price. What they’re not, however, is the sort of wine you’d change your shopping habits to buy. Things do get a lot more interesting if you have access to Amazon Fresh, the retailer’s same-day grocery delivery service, which draws on products from retailers such as The Co-op, Booths and Morrisons. For the many of us outside the list of Fresh-delivering postcodes, however, it still makes sense to get a wine such as Morrisons’ dark richly plummy The Best Toscana (£8) and Booths’ stylish, subtly oaked Kumeu River white from an old-fashioned bricks and mortar store.

Ungrafted Cabernet Sauvignon, Maipo, Chile 2021 (£15.99, Given Amazon has used all of its vast resources to gobble up market share in so many product categories over the past three decades, it would be silly to write-off its attempts at making a success of wine. Such is the array of excellent online wine-buying options these days, however, it’s going to have its work cut out if it wants to persuade serious wine lovers to switch away from their favourite suppliers. Wines I’ve enjoyed recently from some of the bigger, more established names in the online wine game include Virgin Wines’ seamless, very pure and succulent, cassis and raspberry-scented Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from the excellent Chilean producer De Martino; the rich, smooth, plushly upholstered Glorioso Rioja Reserva, Spain 2017 (£12.95,; and the creamy, engagingly autumnal fruited southern French white, Definition Chardonnay, Limoux, France 2020 (£12.99, or £10.99 as part of a mixed case of six bottles,

Follow David Williams on Twitter @Daveydaibach



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