We won! Oh my, golly, yes. We have won the ultimate accolade of Supermarket of the Year from what many people believe to be the best and most prestigious wine magazine, Decanter.
It went like this. On Tuesday night I attended the Decanter Awards Ceremony in London on behalf of our fabulous wine team where retailers, big and small, were recognised and applauded for their passion for wine, and for selling it to customers with heart and imagination. I bumped into lots of old friends from the wine industry and we all chatted away, a wee bit nervously, and probably for the only time in my life I knew what it must feel like to be an Oscar nominee: you’re on a shortlist but daren’t think for a minute that you Just. Might. Win.
The lovely Peter Richards MW (you’ll know him from Saturday Kitchen on the telly) was the Chair of the Judges and the person responsible for announcing the winners. Supermarket Category. Tension mounts … and this is what he said … “Bold new initiatives based on extensive customer research, such as the launch of The Wine Atlas, set this supermarket apart from the field this year, as well as a fierce commitment to value…So congratulations to Philippa Carr MW – and Asda!”
And because, according to the judges, we pipped other retailers to the post due to our pioneering work with The Wine Atlas, here are three of my favourites. Enjoy. Be rude not to.
- Wine Atlas Cigales Spain in spades. Just goes to show there is so much more to Iberia than Rioja. Grab this gorgeous full and rich Tempranillo from the parched and precious region of Cigales. Grilled meat on the menu? Wine – sorted.
- Wine Atlas Touraine Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough Sauvignon – are you feeling a little bit Been There Done That about New Zealand? Well, here’s the Inside Track. France’s Loire Valley was doing really, really great Sauvignon Blanc a long, long time before the Kiwis leapt onto the wine stage. So here’s a bright fresh star from the unbelievably pretty region of Touraine. Can I tempt you to a glass with your pesto pasta this weekend?
- Wine Atlas Fetasca Neagra You don’t need to be able to pronounce the grape to know this is one wonderfully smooth and plump fruity Romanian red wine. One for drinking with a big bowl of chilli as you’ve settled on the sofa to watch a favourite DVD? Tell me who minds now about the weather?
And I’m just as proud of the judges’ comments about value, because that means we are doing the right thing – great quality at great prices. So, here are some of my personal heroes:
- Extra Special El Meson Gran Reserva – multiple medal and Trophy winner Gran Reserva for under £10? Now that is what I call value for money!
- Extra Special Louis Bernard 1er Cru Champagne – smooth and toasty and a consistent medal winner – and just the right Champagne to celebrate our Decanter win!
- Extra Special Yarra Valley Pinot Noir – Pinot Noir from Australia’s De Bortoli for under £8? We’re spoiling you!