Posh wine too pricey? Cheers to cut-price copies!
- Excellent copycat wines that you can pick up for a fraction of the old favourites
- READ MORE: Forget red or white, the must have drink is orange wine
In the world of fashion and beauty, dupes — or so-called ‘duplicates’ of expensive products at a much lower price — are big business.
But what about wine? Can you find a dead ringer for that pricey Provencal rosé Whispering Angel we’ve been swigging this summer, at a fraction of the cost? The devil is in the detail.
The nature of wine means where and how it’s made determines the style.
Given the numerous countries where wine is produced, not to mention the hundreds of grape varieties used to make it, the possible combinations are endless.
So, whenever I see a wine hailed as a ‘dupe’, I can’t help but roll my eyes.
Helen McGinn has picked out some excellent copycat wines that don’t compromise on flavour
Even wines made by the same winemaker will vary from year to year, such are the vagaries of vintages.
However, with a little know-how it is possible to find great wines that are similar in style to the pricey wines we love. The trick is knowing where to look.
Here are some of the best similar sips worth seeking out…
WHISPER IT . . .
The Original: Whispering Angel, £19.99, widely available
Similar Sip: Chosen By Majestic Rosé, £9.99, Majestic
The real thing comes from Provence in the South of France, but go west a bit and you’ll find lots of producers in the Languedoc region making lovely pale rosé wines from similar grapes.
Chosen By Majestic Rosé, £9.99, Majestic (pictured) is a great alternative to Whispering Angel, which is priced at £19.99
This one, a blend of Grenache and Cinsault, is brilliantly made and has a similar texture and taste to the famous(ly expensive) Whispering Angel with light red fruits and plenty of freshness.
Whispering Angel comes from Provence in the South of France
The Original: Della Vite Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore, £21.50, Sainsbury’s
Similar Sip: Finest Prosecco Valdobbiadene Superiore, £9.50, Tesco
This Tesco Prosecco may not have been created by one of the world’s most famous supermodels and her sisters — the Della Vite brand is owned by Cara, Poppy and Chloe Delevingne — but it’s still stunning.
It comes from the smartest area in the Veneto region with the same top-quality DOCG status as the Della Vite wine, and in terms of style is similarly light and frothy with gentle lemon sherbet fruit flavours.
The most obvious difference is you can have two bottles of this for one of the Della Vite. I know which I’d prefer.
The Original: Chin Chin Vinho Verde, £12, shopcuvee.com
Similar Sip: The Best Vinho Verde, £8.50, Morrisons
Chin Chin is like catnip for many a wine-loving hipster, with its eye-catching label and trendy credentials (the wine is a collaboration between cult London restaurant Noble Rot and a boutique producer in Portugal).
But as we all know it’s what’s on the inside that counts and if you’re looking for a great value Portuguese white that’s similar in style, try this Vinho Verde from Morrison’s posh own-label range with the same touch of natural spritz and fresh citrus fruit flavours. Chin chin indeed!
SPICE OF LIFE
The Original: CUNE Imperial Rioja Reserva, £23.75, Co-op
Similar Sip: Baron de Ley Rioja Reserva, £9.75, Co-op
Rioja wine with its seductive oak-and-spice combo is seriously hard to resist, but in recent years prices have been creeping up — especially if you go to highly awarded wineries such as CUNE.
Finding a good Reserve quality wine (meaning the wine has been aged for at least three years with one of them spent in oak barrels) for under a tenner from this famous Spanish region nowadays is the holy grail.
But this one, from Baron de Ley, is fabulous. Both wines are made (mostly) from the Tempranillo grape, bringing all its usual black cherry fruit to the party, with the long oak ageing adding plenty of cinnamon spice to each. Definitely not dissimilar.
The Original: Berry Bros. & Rudd Good Ordinary Claret, £13.50
Similar Sip: Eglise Saint Jacques Bergerac, £7, Tesco
London wine merchant Berry’s has been selling its GOC, as it’s known to its fans, for years and it is pretty good value.
But go a little further inland from Bordeaux and you’ll be in Bergerac where red wines made from the same grape varieties can be close in style, too.
This one from Tesco is an absolute steal at the price, with its bramble fruit flavours and touch of earthiness. Definitely worth a punt.
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