Veteran crooner Cliff Richard loves it – but that's nothing to do with the fact that Mateus Rosé is about to get a makeover.

Before it became deeply unfashionable, the weakish Portuguese wine in the distinctive onion-shaped bottle was on a million classy dinner tables in the 1970s. It added a bit of rustic chic to suburban Britain – and the empty bottle was often customised into a table lamp.

The fact that top-selling singer Cliff Richard is the only person in the world who now publicly admits to drinking it is nothing to do with the decision to revamp.

‘It was launched in 1942 with exactly the same packaging it has now. Our market research found it was seen as a bit tired,’ said Alec Guthrie, marketing manager for the brand. ‘We are confident the enhanced and improved bottle will stand out and appeal to consumers.’

Mateus is the latest old favourite to have a facelift. German 70s classic Blue Nun was relaunched two years ago, and Black Tower is about to have £1m (€1.14m) spent on it.

The Mateus surgery is definitely cosmetic. The wine in the bottle remains the same – a sweetish rosé with 11% alcohol – but the new design (pictured, right) is expertly aimed at younger drinkers.

‘Our task was to make it relevant to younger consumers, to move away from the rather heavy, faded image while maintaining the recognition of the distinctly round bottle,’ said designer Mary Lewis, who is responsible also for the Bollinger and Bells Scotch Whisky bottles.

Written by Adam Lechmere10 April 2002