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Decanter World Wine Awards own-label wins put spotlight on category

Sainsbury’s and the Co-op’s own-label International Trophies at the Decanter World Wine Awards have caused a surge of interest in the category, the supermarkets say.

At this year’s Awards, Sainsbury’s won the International Red Italian Varietal Trophy over £10 for its Taste the Difference Amarone della Valpolicella 2006, and the Co-op won the International Trophy for Pinot Noir under £10 with its Santa Helena 2008 from the Casablanca Valley.

While it’s too early to gauge the exact effect the award has had on the wine, Co-op’s drinks category manager Vicky Wood told decanter.com there had been a rush of customers asking for the £7.99 Chilean Pinot, which at present sells around 1500 bottles a week across 2000 stores.

‘It has confirmed our belief in our own label wines – and it will encourage us to launch more standard and premium-priced wines.’

For its part, Sainsbury’s said the International trophy for its Amarone resulted in a 23% uplift in sales.

In a statement the supermarket said sales of own brand wines were growing at twice the rate of total wine sales.

In fact, the supermarket has seen double digit growth across its entire own label range this year.’

Supermarket own-label wines have won six International Trophies since the inception of the Decanter World Wine Awards in 2004.

Marks and Spencer has won three times, in 2005 and 2006, with its NV Reserve Port, its Bidoli Vini Merlot 2004 from Friuli, and its Secano Estate Pinot Noir 2005 from Chile.

In 2007 Sainsbury’s won a Trophy for its Taste the Difference 12-year-old Oloroso, and the same range’s Gewurztraminer from Alsace.

Last year Waitrose won the International Sparkling Trophy for its 1996 vintage Champagne.

Out of 10,285 entries, 24 are awarded an International Trophy.

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Written by Adam Lechmere

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