Low-cost supermarket retailer Lidl is spending £1m on its first ever premium wine range for the UK, enlisting a quartet of Masters of Wine to taste and rank the products.
The 19 wines include a £9.99 Chablis Premier Cru, a £12.49 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, a £6.99 Prosecco and a £9.99 10-Year-Old Tawny Port.
Lidl said each of the wines had been ‘quality tested’ by wine consultant Richard Bampfield MW, along with a panel of three more Masters of Wine: Ed Adams, Caroline Gilby and Nancy Gilchrist.
The four experts have given each of the wines a score according to a 100-point rating system, which has been incorporated, along with tasting notes, into Lidl’s revamped ‘Wine Cellar’ in-store display.
The retailer has invested £1m into refurbishing the wine section of each of its 600 UK stores, with the new wines available to purchase from next Thursday (27 September).
Lidl specialist wine category manager Ben Hulme said the aim of the new range was to offer ‘really good wines at prices that aren’t ridiculous’.
He added, ‘Since the recession hit, we’ve seen a shift in customer spending habits with many people, even those from more affluent backgrounds, finding smart ways to continue enjoying fine wines and good food at home.’
Lidl hit the headlines last year when its Cimarosa Cabernet Sauvignon 2010, priced at £3.99 a bottle, won a gold medal at the 2011 Decanter World Wine Awards.
Written by Richard Woodard