Association News Beverages National Private Label

PLMA: U.S. Supermarket Wines Catching Up With European Counterparts

supermarket wines
Private label wines from 40 retailers in 11 countries are judged by an international panel of wine experts.

U.S. supermarket wines, once considered to be poorly made and rarely worth drinking, scored a major success at the 2019 International Salute to Excellence awards for private label in Amsterdam, winning seven top honors in the category. The competition is sponsored by the Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA).

The award-winning wines were:

  • From Costco: Kirkland Signature Bordeaux Supérieur 2016 (Bordeaux, $10), best quality; Kirkland Signature Asolo Prosecco NV (Italy, $10), best value.
  • From Trader Joe’s: Trader Joe’s organic Grower’s Reserve Merlot 2017 (California, $5), best quality; Trader Joe’s Platinum Reserve Pinot Noir 2017 (Russian River Valley, $15), best quality.
  • From Aldi US: Evanta Malbec 2017 (Argentina, $4), best value; Scarlet Path Zinfandel 2017 (Lodi, $8), best quality; Outlander Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (Paso Robles, $9), best quality.

This is the best performance ever recorded for wines sold exclusively by U.S. supermarkets, more than doubling the number of 2018 winners. The showing demonstrates that U.S. private labels continue to get closer to their European counterparts in terms of value and quality—especially among wines costing less than $15. This matters because wines that are sold exclusively by European supermarkets have long been considered among the best wine in the world at combining those two things.

“Don’t overlook private label store wines,” said Washington Post wine columnist Dave McIntyre, one of 18 international judges who participated in the 2019 wine awards program. “These were good value, high-quality bottlings. Some stores are doing a great job sourcing really good juice.”

Wine entries were judged in 25 categories by varietal, style and appellation, and each category was judged for best quality and best value. The 18 men and women who judged the competition came from around the world, and included Masters of Wines, sommeliers, winemakers, wine writers, wine educators and retailers. They judged 350 wines from 40 retailers in 11 countries.

To see all results for the 2019 judging, click here.

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Erica Sacra

Outside of her web editing duties, Erica enjoys watching movies and spending time with friends and family. She loves trivia and Kentucky Wildcats basketball.

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