Co-op's hidden gems

Coop new logoUSP, or Unique Selling Point, is what every marketing department of every High Street retailer wants us to think of when their brand name comes to mind. With the Co-op it’s that there’s one of their food stores in every one of the UK’s postal areas. But with many of these stuck in out of the way shopping arcades and often too small to do the entire weekly shop in you may wonder what reason there is for seeking them out. Because their wine range is so fab. Think of them more of a brilliant off-licence with a convenience store stuck on the side.

Start by looking for the Co-op's own wine label 'Truly Irresistible' such as the Truly Irresistible Explorers New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc (£6.99) with a sweet edge to the usual gooseberry enamel-removing flavours that you'd expect from a Sauvignon. This is a really nice wine but hiding behind a truly awful bottle label.

Coop Premium wineCo-op have a habit of underselling their own-brand wines – when they launched their own label range back in 2011 (then called Premium which were some really fab wines packaged in some really heavy bottles which helped foster a quality feel when you picked them up) they were all positioned in the walk-straight-past end section of the wine aisle. To be fair they have improved this stance some what with their increasingly extensive range of Fairtrade wines which get the proper marketing experience (look out for Fairtrade Fortnight at the beginning of March each year) but this has possibly been at the expense of the rest of the rather nice wines they stock.

Such as Malkina Argentinean Malbec (£7.99) which changes flavour within minutes of undoing the screwcap from light cherry and strawberry to smoky plum and tobacco. Or you could try a white Argentinean wine instead, Finca Las Moras Pinot Grigio (£6.99) with its wonderful fruity flavours that would make ideal refreshment for the predicted hot days ahead.

But perhaps the Co-op's very recent change of logo (had you noticed it all looks very familiar and 1970s again?) will prompt a rethink about the logo and branding on the wine aisle as well – come on Co-op sell your wines! You really do have something to shout about.

PG Wine Reviews

Coop store old coloursArco Iris Chilean Sauvignon Blanc 2015

£4.99 Co-op (down from £6.99 until August 2)

Nice wine for a fiver – gooesberry, melon, lime and kiwi.

Arco Iris Chilean Merlot 2015

£4.99 Co-op (down from £6.99 until August 2)

Flavours of cherry and dark chocolate.

Dream Weaver Australian Chardonnay 2015

Coop Irresistible Viognier£6.65 Co-op

Apple and apricot with a hint of banana – fresh with creamy woodiness.

Dream Weaver Australian Shiraz 2015

£6.65 Co-op

Fruity flavours with a liquorice edge – had better Shiraz so does let the side down rather.

Artan Reserve Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 2014

£7.99 Co-op (down from £8.99 until August 2)

Juicy. Blackcurrant and milk choc.

Castillo de Cavanegra Spanish Reserva Monastrell 2011

£7.99 Co-op

Smooth plum and blackcurrant with some cocoa dryness.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk