A leading supplier claims the best way to grow the wine category is to make it easier for consumers with simple innovations, such as ageing wine for them in a controlled environment.

Stevens Garnier has earned a listing at Tesco for a Reserve Sandeman port from 2000 and managing director Matt Douglas told OLN: “It’s already aged and people will be very happy to spend £22 in Tesco on that.

“We have done all the hard work for the consumer. This is one of the things we as an industry can do about wine – we can make it easier for people.

“We can pre-age the port. We have a cellar-aged Mount Pleasant Semillon 2007 selling for around £15.99.

“The 2013 vintage sells for £13.99. It’s pre-aged for the consumer in a controlled environment and we charge them a little bit more for it and it will make their experience much better if they like aged Semillon.”

Stevens Garnier – which does 80% of its business with multiples and most of the rest with wholesalers – has overhauled its portfolio since Douglas joined three years ago. It has ditched boutique brands in favour of “family-owned, globally recognised brands that are already in the UK”.

It now boasts the likes of Mouton Cadet and Mount Pleasant alongside Mateus and Sandeman.

“We have to go to the market with a relevant, full portfolio,” said Douglas. “We want to offer the trade a branded, long- term proposition. Consumers like brands. They look for authenticity, assurance, quality – all the things a brand gives them.”