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Nero d’Avola named Britain’s favourite wine

Published:  29 November, 2019

Sicilian red Nero d’Avola came out on top in a mass blind tasting at Majestic stores across the UK.

Eight different wine styles were tasted by some 25,000 wine drinkers in what is claimed to be the biggest blind tasting on record.

Red wines dominated the favourites. Nero d’Avola was the winner at fully 78% of the stores, with Cabernet Sauvignon a distant second at 16%. Third was Shiraz with 4% followed by Sauvignon Blanc with 2%.

Pinot Noir, the fourth red in the tasting, failed to pick up any votes at all.

Among white wines only, Sauvignon Blanc took first place in 68% of stores, followed by Pinot Grigio with 22%, Chardonnay 6% and Viognier 4%.

Cabernet Sauvignon was most popular in London and Bristol, while Cumbria and the Cotswolds plumped for Shiraz.

Sauvignon Blanc was the preferred choice of Dorset wine drinkers – together with those in London’s Muswell’s Hill.

Viognier was the white wine of choice in Manchester and the Midlands, while Scotland’s highland/lowland divide was apparent in the latter’s choice of Pinot Grigio over the former’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Robert Cooke, trading director at Majestic, said: “If you had asked me to pick… which would come out top with over 25,000 taste-voters – I don’t think I’d have ever gone for Nero d’Avola.

“Our tongues can’t be guided by price, prestige or labels. That’s the joy of a truly blind tasting.”

The tasting involved around 220,000 tasting samples at 195 Majestic stores. It took place over five days in September.

The eight wines involved were Ammazza Pinot Grigio DOC and Nero Oro Nero d’Avola from Italy; New Zealand’s Mud House Sauvignon Blanc; an Abbotts & Delaunay Viognier from France; Argentina’s Alamos Uco Valley Chardonnay; Argentina; a Hang Loose Cabernet Sauvignon from California; Australia’s Making Tracks Shiraz; and the Incanta Pinot Noir from Romania. Each was chosen for its typicity and comparable price point.