Where will you be Buying your Christmas Wine and Bubbly?

22nd November 2016


Simple you’ll say, I’ll just get it as part of the weekly shop before Christmas, but if we look in to this deeper then we have many options for buying wine these days from Amazon to a stroll around Borough Market in London and this choice of options is increasing. What we have today in choice for buying products and services is an explosion of routes to take above what we had just a generation ago with today’s internet sales roaring upwards year on year and more recently aided with via app sales.

So yes, you may very well get your wines for Christmas at Sainsburys, Waitrose or Morrisons, but is that via their website, via an app or are you taking to walking down the aisles of your local supermarket and doing things in real life rather than virtual?

Not only have we a magnitude of choices if we are looking to visit wine and bubbly selling stores in the UK, from the Oddbins to the local wine merchants, we also have the large supermarket chains, local markets, department stores (such as Harrods and Libertys), wine tasting events and even via the producers themselves we can buy directly. Now if you add online for your options for buying wine then things really spice up for the consumer with most of the previously mentioned stores also competing, but thrown in to the mix are exclusively online giants such as Virgin Wines and Amazon, Apps such as Vivino, monthly subscription wine clubs, Ebay, social media, email marketing and much more.

A recent survey of over 200 people by Glass of Bubbly still showed that consumers prefer to visit their local supermarket to purchase their wines for Christmas with a surprising third place and 15% of the votes for Online purchases:

Now the progress of the internet, it’s faster speed, the fact that more of our everyday appliances have access to it and the improving skills behind those using it to advertise and promote their products means that online purchases are likely to increase further as an option to buy wines. When I am online now and I visit all the usual wine related sites and connections I have on social media then there is a wash of options to buy wine, each promoting their own wines, recommending, discounting, referring, pairing and more to attract the end consumer’s attention. As a Champagne and Sparkling Wine News Channel we are also flooded with requests to taste wines, many are sent weekly for tasting and photo shoots, information packs are sent, discounts are offered, dinner invitation for pairings are received and many more ways offered to engage with the wines which in itself can be information overload and you sometimes wish you could step back a pace or two and simply pick up that recommended wine with an attractive discount at the local supermarket! With that thought in mind, it is important that we respect the fact that supermarket options for buying wines, especially in my view Champagne, is not the cheap and less quality option as many have worked hard to improve on their wine buying skills and have selected great wines which can knock many other options out of the water, I have tasted Champagne from some of our UK supermarkets costing around £10 a bottle and they have scored favourably against some of the grand marques at twice or three times the price.

If you really want to taste fine wines that other consumers and wine experts have recommended then you have many wine review websites online to refer to and that can steer you safely if you are buying online or even picking up a bottle at the supermarket – you can simply type in the maker and type of wine and get a list of comments to guide you and help you to buy confidently.

So buying your next bottle of bubbly, just where exactly in your mind will that take place? What advert have you seen lately to tempt you to go for their option, is it something you have seen on Twitter, maybe at the end of the aisle at Tesco, Virgin Wines email to you, the local Christmas market and you tasted something pleasant, something on Amazon caught your attention as you were searching for Christmas presents… Just where will you be purchasing your wine this Christmas?


Christopher Walkey

Co-founder of Glass of Bubbly. Journalist and author focused on Champagne & Sparkling Wines and pairing them with foods.