Glasses of red wine on wooden table

The beginner’s guide to wine

This will help you pick the best wine for your tastes

By Rebecca Shepherd, 15 June 2017
The beginner’s guide to wine

There’s nothing better than enjoying an ice-cold glass of wine on a hot summer's day but did you know Brits stick to what they know in the wine aisle. According to new research commissioned by Asda, over one fifth of those surveyed (22%) say they can find the vast amount of wine to choose from intimidating and don’t know where to start when it comes to picking a new bottle.

"We’ve sourced from around the globe, from all the major wine-producing countries and regions"

To help give the UK some grape guidance, Asda has appointed the world’s first 'Sommeasier’ and created the ‘Sommeasier's Guide to Wine’, turning the traditional role of expert Sommelier on its head to help the nation navigate the vast and sometimes confusing world of wine for themselves.

Asda wine expert, Ed Betts, who has spent the last 17 years perfecting his wine knowledge, has taken up the role in a bid to help bamboozled Brits expand their wine knowledge. "We’ve introduced the guide to help customers try something new," says Ed.

"This provides a really clear guide to wines and also recommendations, if you like Pinot Grigio then you may like Muscadet or if you like Sauvignon Blanc then you may like Albarino from Spain. This is a great way to try something different but with the safety of knowing the style will be similar to your favourite."

To help find the right drink for any occasion, Ed has shared his wine wisdom. 

Where have the new wines come from?

Ed says: "We’ve sourced from around the globe, from all the major wine-producing countries and regions. Virtually all wine is produced between 30°-50° latitude both north & south of the equator. This provides the right balance of both seasonal, and day to night temperature variation for the vines to produce great grapes.

"Pretty much any country in this band can produce wine making grapes but the most famous are Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Chile in the southern hemisphere and France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and USA in the northern hemisphere."

The expert's favourite wine

Ed says: "It’s difficult to choose a favourite wine (like choosing your favourite song), but my favourite range is the Wine Atlas range. Exciting innovation with stunning labels and the quality of the wine is incredible for the price points. They're all under £6."

The crowd pleaser

When it comes to a tipple which is sure to be a winner, prosecco wins every time. 

Ed says: "Prosecco is probably the most popular style and the Yellow Label Prosecco in our range is a fantastic example. It's great value and being sparkling can make any night feel like a celebration without breaking the bank!"

For lovers of dry wines

Ed says: "If you’re a fan of dry whites then I’d definitely recommend Koru Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand; it recently won a silver medal in the International Wine Challenge competition."

For lovers of sweet wines

Ed says: "Sweet wines are an often overlooked treat, the Calvet Sauternes from Bordeaux is a great example of a French classic but I would recommend the De Bortoli Botrytis Semillon from Australia, another Silver medal winner at the International Wine Awards and a real treat."

For fizz lovers

Ed says: "I’m going out on a limb here but I’m a massive fan of the new Solato Lambrusco that goes into the range in June. It's different because it’s actually a sparkling red wine! We’ve worked with the supplier Alberto for over 30 years and when he showed us this new product we were blown away. Drink it as you would a sparkling wine, chilled and in a tall glass."

For those looking for something new

Ed says: "I would definitely recommend trying the Wine Atlas range of wines, they are all affordable prices and the quality is excellent. They are also slightly different and show the great variety of wines out there."

Wines great for a BBQ

Ed says: "Our new Extra Special Kings Valley Sangiovese Rosé is the perfect BBQ wine; crisp dry and with lots of summer fruit flavours. For those who like grilled meat then I’d recommend thinking of the natural home of the BBQ and choose the Extra Special Argentinian Malbec or Extra Special Barossa Shiraz from Australia"

The easy drinker

Ed said: "For me, I’m a big fan of the Rhone Valley in France, the quality and value for money is what sets it apart. A great example from the very south of the region is our new Costières de Nimes, smooth, fruity and almost too easy to drink!"

Feeling inspired to try our new wines? Make sure you head online or pop into your local Asda store to see our full range.