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17 August 2020

Best white wine

Our expert panel tried a range of supermarket white wines to find the best bottles for summer drinking.
Pouring glass of white wine
Alice Williams

Nothing signals the start of the summer like a glass of white wine on a sun kissed patio, so why not try our Best Buy bottles.

Our panel of wine experts tasted nine bottles from supermarkets such as Aldi and Tesco for the June 2019 edition of Which? magazine.

They were looking for crisp, refreshing white wines that offer delicious flavours whilst being easy to drink on a hot summer’s day.

Best white wine

Only logged in Which? members can view the rest of our results and tasting notes in the table below. If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the champagne on test. To get instant access join Which?.

Aldi the Wine Foundry Avesso 2018

£6.49 for a 75cl bottle

Aldi’s Portuguese vinho verde works best with fresh fish and shellfish and would be refreshing enough to drink in the heat of summer.

Does the joint cheapest wine we tried beat the others on both taste and value for money? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Asda Lugana Italian White

£8.50 for a 75cl bottle

An Italian wine from the vineyards around Lake Garda that pairs best with the traditional risotto and shellfish dishes of the region.

Is it the best bet for your picnic table though? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Co-op Irresistible Gavi 2017

£8.50 for a 75cl bottle

This Italian wine comes from a region more famous for its reds, but its ‘dry and refreshing’ whites could be just the ticket in a scorching heatwave.

See if this white offers delicious flavour combinations whilst being easy to drink. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Lidl Gavi DOCG 2017

£6.49 for a 75cl bottle

Our experts found this wine pleasant and refreshing to drink and they liked the herbal and citrus flavours.

But has this more affordable Lidl tipple made it to Best Buy status? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

M&S Verdicchio del Castelli di Jesi 2017

£8.50 for a 75cl bottle

A palate of ‘ripe pear and tropical fruit flavours’ gives this Italian wine a summery feel.

Our experts thought it a good match for barbecue food, but how does it stack up against the other whites on test? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Morrisons The Best Grüner Veltliner 2017

£7.50 for a 75cl bottle

Get ahead of the trend by choosing an Austrian white wine for your next picnic or barbecue. It’s recommended as an accompaniment to light fish or spicy Asian dishes.

Our panel liked the hints of white jasmine, but is it good enough to be a Best Buy? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Alvarinho 2017

£7.50 for a 75cl bottle

You can expect a fresh, aromatic wine, as the grapes are grown in the cool climate of Portugal’s Minho region.

Find out how this affects the wine’s flavour. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Tesco Finest Viñas del Rey Albariño 2018

£8.50 for a 75cl bottle

The fruity taste of this Spanish wine is balanced by a refreshing acidity, so you should enjoy drinking it on your patio in the hot sun.

The panel loved the smell of this wine, but how did the taste shape up? Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results.

Waitrose Earth, Vine and Sun Semillon 2018

£6.99 for a 75cl bottle

This wine from South Africa’s Western Cape blends Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

Find out if this wine is the perfect bottle for your picnic. Log in now or join Which? to unlock our results. 

Prices correct as of May 2019.

Chilling and serving tips

  •  The best way to cool wine quickly is by placing it in a bucket with water and ice cubes. If this summer’s another scorcher, it may be worth investing in a carafe with an ice insert.
  • You should keep glasses indoors before serving, and never leave wine (even reds) out in the sun.
  • Take care not to overfill a glass. The wine will warm up as you drink it and you’ll miss out on being able to smell your wine before tasting it.
  • Be wary of serving richer, more complex whites too cold and lighter, fruitier reds too warm. Observe the 20:20 rule: take whites out of the fridge 20 minutes before you serve and put reds in the fridge 20 minutes before you serve.

See our roundup of the best wine coolers.

Low calorie wine

Wine is a more indulgent treat than you might think. According to the NHS, there are 126 calories in a standard glass of 12% wine – that’s more than some chocolate bars.

The calories in your wine come from two main sources: the residual sugar that naturally occur in the grapes, and the fermented alcohol. However, alcohol is much more calorific than sugar, so it’s the alcohol percentage you’ll have to watch out for if you’re also watching your waistline.

You can look for wines where the alcohol has been stripped out (such as German brand Iceberg), though our experts recommend choosing a naturally lower-alcohol grape. German Reisling and French Muscat are grown in cooler climates, so the grapes aren’t as sugary when harvested.

Make sense of wine label jargon with our guide on how to read a wine label.

How we tested

We asked each supermarket to nominate their best white wine for summer drinking. It had to be own label or exclusive, within the £5.99 to £10 price range, vintage or non-vintage.

Each wine was disguised before being tasted blind and then rated by our panel of experts. The experts tasted the drinks in a different order, before discussing their ratings and agreeing on two Best Buy white wines.

Our findings were published in the June 2019 edition of Which? magazine.

Our experts were:

  • Charles Metcalfe Wine taster, co-chair of the International Wine Challenge.
  • Kathryn McWhirter Wine taster, author and translator.
  • Helen McGinn International wine judge and award-winning author.
  • Sam Caporn Master of Wine, wine consultant, speaker, writer and International Wine Challenge judge.
  • Peter Richards Master of Wine, writer, presenter and broadcaster
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