Getting in a fizz: Lidl and the prosecco fiasco

Bubbles without the price tag? When news of Lidl’s upcoming prosecco offer came out, it was bound to be a Bank Holiday hit but at 6 bottles for £20, was it all too good to be true?

I’m ashamed to say I found myself part of the desperate woman’s prosecco club this morning. Five of us, strangers, parked up in my local multi-storey, long before the rest of the shops were open. Desperate to get to the doors just as Lidl opened, we had to take the same, unscheduled detour and discovered we were all on the same mission. One had left her four month old baby at home with her husband, another stomped along in flip-flops, the fourth member of our group had her face set to the morning sun, determined to reach her goal on time.

All of us were in on the secret that Lidl had six bottles of prosecco for twenty quid. Twenty quid. That’s just £3.33 a bottle!

8.03am we got through the door, red faced from our race around the roadway. Abandoning the idea of a trolley, I scouted from aisle to aisle. Would the cases be at the end, with the special offers, with the alcohol? We went up and down, getting a little more frantic moment by moment. Where were the cases?

When it became apparent that there were none, we started grabbing bottles off the shelves. One of our impromptu group had stopped for a trolley and could carry more than me. I looked down at my basket, knowing that it was now inadequate. Would she watch my six treasured bottles for me, while I went to get a trolley. I looked at her eyes. Could I trust her?

One of our number went off to look for a member of staff.

Why can’t you find one when you need one?

Then came the news that the bottles on the shelf weren’t included. They needed to have screw tops, not corks. An assistant shrugged his shoulders and said there was a pile of boxes earlier. But where were they now?

Where were they now?

The shop has only been open for a few minutes, I thought to myself, where are all these people at the checkouts with their cases of prosecco?

Something fishy was going on. Hysteria was beginning to build.

“Should have gone to the one up the road” I said to myself.

“No, I’ve been there” someone replied, “the car park was jammed at 7.30, I’ve just heard from my wife, they were all out at 8am too.”

It was clear we were too late. We stood around, dazed, dismayed, confused. It had all been for nothing.

I picked up one, lonely bottle and putting it through the checkout, looked down into my neighbour’s basket to see she’d managed to get the golden ticket. I sneered quietly. I felt less than neighbourly.

“Honestly” I heard one sales assistant whisper to the other “these women, it’s only prosecco”. Yeah, I thought to myself, because you managed to shove a few boxes in your locker before the shop opened, didn’t you, you smug thingie.

I limped up to Costa and sat with a latte awhile, deflated. Where had all the angry, half-rabid women gone?

And what had happened to us all in there? We’d gone from relatively placid humans into semi-feral beasts, grabbing and shoving in our pursuit of a bubbly bargain. Perhaps lions on the Serengeti have the kind of temperament that could bake pies and pull up socks nine tenths of the time but put a carcass in front of them (in our case, a box of Italian fizzy wine) and that’s when the savagery, bubbling under the surface arises.

I know they say we’re all only two meals away from barbarity but this was just ridiculous.

So I brought home a few Perlenbacher instead. That’ll do just nicely.

But what happened to the Prosecco? I guess we’ll never know.

Prosecco is just a hobby – by day I’m a writer, blogger and runner. Sign up for more of the same, share with your mates (go on, it’s a happy thing to do) or read more about the small things you might miss if you don’t stop and look once in a while.

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