Cans and quarters: The £2.99 wine is alive in smaller sizes - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

The £2.99 wine is still with us. There are still a few bottles to be found (14 listed in UK supermarkets as March 2021: see The £2.99 wine is not dead yet and £2.99 wine: its death is greatly exaggaerated) but there others at this price range - instead of looking for full-sized 75cl bottles search for wine in cans and quarters.

The small sized quarter bottle holds 187ml (also known as a miniature or S/S single serving) and contains enough for a glass and a half  of wine. Which is a handy volume for one person to accompany one meal and also works as a grab-and-go meal idea for picnics and when you want to try something different but don't want to fork out for a full bottle of wine.

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Their popularity has never been huge and so this means the range of wines is small but convenience stores like the Co-op and SPAR are the place to shop for the largest selection. But thanks to online retailers like Laithwaites the 187ml quarter bottle has had a bit of a resurgence and you can now buy 14 of their wines in this size or try the Miniatures Mixed Case of 12 for £29.88 (price as September 2021, equivalent to £2.49 each).

Restaurants and bars is another place to search out the quarter bottle size and the brand Oliver & Greg's is popular. Simple tasting single grape varieties is what these wines are about and they can also be found in a few online retailers like Battlefield Beers and Parsley Box selling at £2.99 or under.

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Aluminium cans is a more fashionable way to buy smaller volumes of wine and the 250ml (a third of a bottle) holds enough for two glasses. Trend setting comes at a price and many of the newer brands (see Canned Wine Co reviews) on the market sell at around £5-6 each. Which is going some when you consider that this equates to £15-18 if bought as a full-sized 75cl bottle. But more established brands like Most Wanted do have wine in cans (200ml) for around £2-3.

Hard Seltzers is another alcohol product sold in cans and sells for around £2 a go. This blend of wine, fruit and sparkling water has a lower alcohol level than wine (4-5% alcohol by volume rather than wine which is 12-14%) and has added bicarbonate of soda to give the added 'hard' flavour. So you either love them or you don't but they are cheap.

So the £2.99 wine ain't dead yet.

£2.99 and under wines reviewed by wineuncorked.co.uk

Los Hermanos Manzanos 2019 Rosado 187ml

£2.99 Laithwaites

two stars

 

Another of Laithwaites quarter bottle range but this Spainish rose has no full-sized 75cl version. And unfortunately, like other small bottle formats, it is susceptible to 'bottle stink' - that is where the sulphite chemical added as a preservative collects in the small air space inside the bottle between the top of the wine and the underneath of the screwcap. And as small bottles have a smaller air space (known as the 'head space' in wine jargon) then it becomes more noticeable than in larger 75cl bottles. Which is shame because underneath the cardboard aromas (which will dissipate if given long enough in an open glass) was some strawberry and chocolate.

 

Visionaro Bianco Bianco Trevenezie 2019

£2.99 Laithwaites in 187ml bottle (quarter size), £11.99 for 75cl

three stars

 

A nice quaffable Italian white with flavours of apple and mandarin with a touch of lemon.

 

Cabaline 2018 Pays D’Oc red

£2.99 Laithwaites in 187ml bottle (quarter size)

three stars

 

This French red blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan has intense aromas of blackberry which is matched on the taste along with a touch of toffee and liquorice. Great flavours but it’s a shame they lose their intensity so very quickly.

 

Oliver and Greg’s Chardonnay

£2.99 187ml bottle Parsley Box, 75cl bottle £6.23 Battlefield Beers

three stars

 

Oliver and Greg’s is a brand you’ll see in pubs and restaurants where customers want the option of single servings of wine as well as the full bottle version. The wines are fruity but not distinct so don’t expect huge flavours. This Australian Chardonnay has flavours of apples and oaky creaminess.

 

Oliver & Greg's Californian Zinfandel rosé

£1.87 Battlefield Beers in 187ml bottles (quarter size) sold as 24x187ml at £37.76 or £6.16 for 75cl bottle

four stars

 

An easy to like medium-sweet rosé with aromas of raspberry ripple sauce and light strawberry flavours.

 

Oliver and Greg’s Chilean Sauvignon Blanc

£1.87 Battlefield Beers in 187ml bottles (quarter size) sold as 24x187ml at £37.76 or £6.23 for 75cl bottle

two stars

 

Only a passable flavour with some lime and gooseberry that’s a bit harsh.

 

Oliver and Greg’s Chilean Merlot

£1.87 Battlefield Beers in 187ml bottles (quarter size) sold as 24x187ml at £37.76 or £6.23 for 75cl bottle

five stars

 

What a great wine it is. Smooth and creamy with a spicy edge with flavours of plum and violets making this is more like a Shiraz. Also available in 75cl bottles at £6.23 from same retailer Battlefield Beers.

 

Oliver and Greg’s Argentinean Malbec

£2.99 Parsley Box (not available July ’21) in 187ml bottles (quarter size)

three stars

 

Simple plum and blackberry flavours with a spicy sloe edge. A light example of an Argentinean Malbec.

 

Oliver and Greg’s Moldovan Pinot Grigio

£1.87 Battlefield Beers in 187ml bottles (quarter size) sold as 24x187ml at £37.76 or £6.23 for 75cl bottle

three stars

 

A pleasant Pinot Grigio that is surprisingly from Moldova rather than Italy. Pear and pineapple on the aroma are met with creamy grapefruit flavours.

 

Trapiche Argentinean Malbec 2018

£2.30 Co-op (187ml, quarter bottle), £8 Co-op (75cl standard bottle)

three stars

 

Flavours of Black Forest gateaux with added apple sourness stops this tasting too rich. Available in the ‘mini’ quarter bottle size of 187ml and also in the standard 75cl size.

 

Co-op Irresistible Non-alcoholic Sparkling Chardonnay

£2.80 Co-op

one star

 

This mix of carbonated spring water, grape juice and flavourings is essentially a ready to drink spritzer. You could make it yourself with supermarket grape juice and lemonade but here it is available at £2.80. But do you want it? With an aroma of used dishwater and a slightly sweet artificial taste then probably not. On the plus side there is a good about of fizz.

 

Most Wanted Pinot Grigio Pink Fizz

£2 Tesco (200ml can)

two stars

 

This European Union wine obtains its fizz by the addition of carbon dioxide, rather than the methode champenoise which gets the sparkle from allowing the yeast to remain in the bottle. This makes it cheaper to produce but shouldn't alter the amount of pretty bubbles in the glass. Well something went wrong here as there was virtually no fizz in this strawberry and raspberry ripple tasting wine. Disappointing.

 

Most Wanted Pinot Grigio Fizz

£2 Tesco (200ml can)

two stars

 

This is the white version of the sparkling pink produced by Most Wanted. This time the wine is from a named single country - Hungary - but it's made in the same way with carbon dioxide gas passed through to create the sparkle. These soon disappear in the glass to leave a wine that smells vaguely fruity and tastes of apple and lemon.

 

Barefoot Wine Seltzer Pineapple and Passionfruit Flavoured

£1.80 Tesco (250ml can)

two stars

 

This 4% alcohol drink is a mix of sparkling water with wine and natural fruit flavours. The natural fruit flavours are well represented on the aroma (remember those sweets called pineapple cubes?) but the wine element has got lost. The flavour is all fizzy mineral water with some slight pineapple flavour that quickly disappears. Why bother?

 

Kopparberg Hard Seltzer Black Cherry

£2 Morrisons, £2.20 Tesco, £1.70 Asda (330ml can)

one star

 

This mix of carbonated water, spirit and natural flavour has a very odd aroma of cherry pie filling and smelly feet. The flavour is basically bicarbonate of soda (the 'hard' element) so rather reminiscent of digestion tablets.

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