Sir Ian Botham secures Waitrose listing for his wines

Former England cricket captain Sir Ian Botham has secured a listing at Waitrose for his eponymous wine range.

The upmarket retailer will enjoy exclusivity of two tiers of Botham’s wines, The All-Rounder and The Botham Series, which start at £7.99 and go up to £10.99.

There is also a top tier, the £30 Sir Ian Botham Collection, and Berry Bros & Rudd took the initial allocation of that when the brand launched last year.

The Botham All-Rounder comprises a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon, sourced from various regions across South Eastern Australia. 

The Botham Series is the mid-tier range and it takes inspiration from important years in Botham’s career. The 81 Series Barossa Shiraz pays homage to Beefy’s exploits in 1981, when he took five wickets for one run at Edgbaston and went on to produce a magnificent knock at Old Trafford to hand England the initiative in one of the greatest series ever witnessed.

The Margaret River 76 Series Chardonnay commemorates the year in which he made his England debut and his first century. The Coonawarra 80 Series Cabernet remembers the year in which Botham produced arguably the greatest performance of all time. He took 13 wickets and hit a century in Mumbai to lead England to a famous victory, completing the match double in style.

Alexandra Mawson, Australian wine buyer at Waitrose, said: “We’re really excited to be stocking Sir Ian’s new range of wines exclusively at Waitrose. Sir Ian has worked alongside well-known winemakers to personally craft these great quality wines and I am sure they will appeal to cricket and non-cricket fans alike.”

The cricketing legend had a tainted view of supermarkets after he was burnt by a bad experience when he launched a Botham Merrill Willis (BMW) range along with winemaker Geoff Merrill and former cricketer Bob Willis.

He had said he was happy to do business with multiple grocers, provided they could agree on a fair price and agree on a healthy long-term strategy. He has seemingly found the right partner in Waitrose.

The wines will be available in-store and online at Waitrose Cellar from February 4.

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