Nothing washes down a mince pie better on a cold day than a warm, spicy mulled wine.
We set out to test which supermarket stocks the best own-brand bottle.
Sainsbury’s Mulled Wine, Taste the Difference, £5.50
Eleven per cent alcohol but tastes stronger due to a generous brandy kick to it. Rich-tasting and full-bodied tempranillo. Just the right balance of sweet and spiciness.
Waitrose, Mulled Wine, £4.99
This fruity number delights with subtle hints of orange and spices sneaking through.
Tesco, Mulled Wine, ABV 10%, £3.95
Cloyingly sweet with a lack of spice. Synthetically caramel aftertaste.
Lidl Christkindl Mulled Wine, ABV 8.5%, £4.99
An overpowering sweetness mutes any spice complexity, and the consolation prize boozy kick is too soft. Perfectly quaffable, but rival British retailers can take some schadenfreude.
M&S, Mulled Wine, ABV 12.5%, £4.50
The flavours in the mulled wine – cinnamon, apple and cloves – are lovely, but on the sweet side. Much improved with a slice of orange in it.
Aldi, Gluhwein, ABV 9%, £4.49
You would expect a safe bet in Aldi’s mulled wine considering its German heritage but disappointingly it just doesn’t deliver. Bland in taste with no real alcoholic kick or spices, it’s unlikely to be the winter warmer you need this Christmas.
Co-op Mulled Wine, ABV 10%, £3.49
The warning signs were right there on the label – no wine or fruit, just “sugar syrup, alcohol, water”. It’s UK bottled, suggesting that rather than being grown on sun-kissed Spanish slopes by a master vintner, the constituent parts were chucked into a plastic vat on an industrial estate.
Sainsbury’s nets the top spot with a spiced winter warmer that was full bodied and rich with complexity. Despite a promising-looking label the Co-Op’s offering was the most disappointing meaning the winners of our mince pie taste test bring up the rear.