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How to shop for good wine

Jul 19 2019

At sipp we believe that everyone should be able to buy great wine. We reached out to consumers to try and understand their wine shopping experiences and got some really alarming results.

Everyone came back saying they found buying wine confusing, and many of them were often underwhelmed by what they bought in a supermarket. Some of them even expect to not enjoy a purchase because their confidence in buying wine is so low.

That’s why sipp was created. We want to simplify buying great wine for everyone. Not only do we provide our users with a place they can easily buy good wine, we want to give our customers the confidence to buy wine anywhere.

Here are some tips for buying wine in a supermarket...

Tip #1: There’s more to a bottle than the front label

We know from experience how big a factor attractive labels are in the buying decision, particularly for those who are less confident in knowing what to buy. But there is much more on a bottle than just the front label.

Take time to read the back label, look out for the description of the wine, does it sound like something you’ll like based on what you’ve enjoyed before? Also, look out for where the wine has been bottled, we’d recommend only buying wines that are bottled in their country of origin.

Tip #2: Remember what you like

You’ll forget about a wine just like you forget if you fed the dog this morning before you went to work. When you try a wine that you love, whether it’s at home or in a restaurant, make a note of it on your phone. Note the grape, country or style, and anything in particular you liked.

This will really help steer you in the right direction when you’re next trying to pick out a bottle.

Tip #3: Watch out for marketing tricks

Don’t get hung up by turns of phrase like “Winemaker’s Selection”, they don’t actually mean anything, they are just tactics to try and impress you. Similarly, awards, or stickers that look like medals, can be very misleading and do not denote quality.

Tip #4: Spend more to get value

A bottle of wine is made up of a lot of costs. At least £2.08 will be VAT, then you have the cost of the physical bottle itself, shipping, the list goes on. This means that a £5 bottle will have roughly 37p of actual wine quality in it. If you spend £10 you’ll get roughly £2.76 of wine quality. Therefore by spending double, you get 7x more quality, a no-brainer surely?

Tip #5: Look up and down

Big brands pay a lot to have their wines at eye level. Why? Because as shoppers we are lazy, we go for the easy reach. There’ll be all sorts of quality range at this level as often brands will just be looking to push as much stock as possible, particularly in peak periods like Christmas.

Take time to explore the shelves properly from top to bottom, look for a style you recognise from your list or a description that tickles your taste buds.

Tip #6: Don’t be lured by discounts

Supermarkets have long relied on sucking people in with “incredible” savings. Often poorer wines are given an unrealistic full bottle price to make the discount look bigger. Discounted wines are also often those that haven’t sold well. If you know it’s a wine you like then go for it, but don’t always assume a higher original price means quality.

The sipp way:

Our subscription is designed to help make your wine buying easier. We introduce you to a fantastic range of styles that we think you’ll like. We help you to learn about wine while you drink to help you gain confidence. If you don’t like what you receive from us we’ll replace it for free, and if you do we’ll give you a discounted member price if you want to buy more. By learning about the wines through our app we’ll show you similar products you might want to try.

We hope this article has been helpful. If you have any feedback or questions regarding this or anything else we’d love to hear from you. Message us at

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