Tesco makes fine wine a major focus

Tesco intends to build on its online fine wine project after declaring premium wines are “back on the agenda” as consumer confidence returns.

Product development manager Graham Nash said the supermarket had ear­marked fine wines as “a major focus this year”.

The chain is giving greater prominence to fine wines and its Finest premium own-labels to appeal to returning customers who stopped buying wine when the recession hit.

“The big challenge is to ensure we don’t lose those consumers who have come back to the wine category,” he said. “How do we encourage people to trade up? We make sure quality is there and front of mind in what we are doing.”?The Tesco website has a dedicated fine wine section featuring 13 Burgundy and six Bordeaux wines, plus wines from the Rhône, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and the US. Buyer comment­aries on countries are included.

As part of Tesco’s pledge to double sales of Finest, it has announced plans to increase the range from 77 to more than 100.

Newcomers include a 2009 Pinot Grigio from Awatere Valley in Marlborough (rrp £8.16), an organic Sauvignon Blanc from Chile’s San Antonio Valley (£7.49) and Old Vines Tempranillo 2008 from Bodegas San Marcos in Extremadura (£6.99).

BWS category director Dan Jago said the expanded Finest range would be “a reference point for quality, excitement, and value for money in the wine aisle”.

Tesco is also moving all its standard-level wines into a new 300g lightweight bottle as part of its ongoing strategy to significantly reduce its carbon emissions from wines.