Tesco, Marks & Spencer Triumph Among U.K. Retailers for Wines

Tesco Plc, the U.K.’s biggest retailer, took most medals for its own-label wines in the International Wine Challenge, with 86, including two golds.

Marks & Spencer Group Plc was second, with 61 medals, including three golds, the organizers of the annual London-based event said today in an e-mailed release. J Sainsbury Plc won 57, closely followed by Asda Group Plc with 56.

Denbies Wine Estate Chalk Ridge Rose was the only still rose to take gold, while Chapel Down took gold for its sparkling Rose Vintage Reserve Brut. A record 406 gold medals were awarded this year. Wines from 48 countries were entered.

“The increase in the number of medal winners is testament to the quality of the entries and it’s great to see such a major success for English wines among such stiff competition,” Tim Atkin, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, said.

More than 370 winemakers, merchants and writers from around the world took part in judging at the Barbican Centre, London.

Details of award-winning wines will be published on the challenge’s website http://www.internationalwinechallenge.com.

Supermarket sparkling and Champagne medals include:

Waitrose Champagne Brut NV (19.93 pounds recommended retail
price) Gold
Waitrose Champagne Blanc de Blancs NV (22.99 pounds) Silver
Tesco Finest Premier Cru Champagne NV (£19.99 pounds) Gold
Tesco Finest Vintage Champagne 2004 (25.99 pounds) Silver
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Vintage Champagne 2005 (25.99
pounds) Silver
Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano 2010 (10.49
pounds) Silver
Marks & Spencer Herbert Beaufort NV (30 pounds) Gold
Marks & Spencer Champagne Oudinot Vintage 2004 (28 pounds)
Asda Extra Special Vintage Champagne 2002 (20.17 pounds) Gold
Asda Asti NV (4.99 pounds) Silver

(Richard Vines is the chief food critic for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)

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