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New supermarket steps up the pace

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Looking for older vintages of Penfolds Grange back to 1976 (tasting)? You’d possibly start your search with wine auction catalogues or by going online. Few of us would think of checking out supermarket shelves.

The newly opened Ponsonby Countdown has ten vintages of Grange back to 1976. Countdown is owned by Woolworths Australia, which in turn owns the liquor chain Dan Murphy’s. The connection with Dan Murphy’s provides access to past vintages of classic Aussie reds such as Penfolds Grange.

This flagship store is spear-heading Countdown’s drive to offer an expanded range of wine and craft beers in affluent suburbs such as Ponsonby. Large supermarkets typically carry around 800 different wines, but the new Ponsonby store has twice that number.

An extensive range of champagnes, an expanded offering of French wines and especially imported exclusive labels are other drawcards.

Countdown’s buying power means they can offer competitive prices for wines on special. Moet & Chandon champagne, for example, is offered at $49.99, the lowest price I could find using the wine search engine, Wine-Searcher.

Countdown offer online shopping at shop.countdown.co.nz, although if you want an old bottle of Grange you’ll have to visit the store.

* I am a director of Wine-Searcher

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