Tesco has unveiled what it has described as its "most confident" wine range for at least a decade . The move includes a trimmed Finest selection which the supermarket claims will have a consistently higher quality than before.
Finest, the best-selling own-label wine range in the UK, has been reduced to around 70 styles, with some that were previously sold in this format now rebranded. Around 40 per cent of Tesco wine sales are own-label and the retailer has embarked on an overhaul of its packaging in partnership with Neil Tully MW's Amphora Design.
BWS boss Dan Jago said: "Finest has changed a lot. It was a very wide range of products. For example, you could have Finest Australian Reserve Chardonnay and Finest Single Vineyard Adelaide Hills Chardonnay, and that's confusing . The £4.99 range is now called Reserve and Finest is unlikely to be less than £5.99."
Finest has continued its association with famous winemakers with the launch of Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc 2006 from Stellenbosch. The range also features wines from Baron de Ley, Geoff Merrill and Beyers Truter and wine category manager Jason Godley said there were "a lot more to follow".
Reedman MW quits Tesco
Tesco's Master of Wine, Phil Reedman, has surprised the trade by resigning after nearly nine years as the retailer's Australian expert.
Reedman, based in Adelaide and one of the most recognised and respected of UK wine sourcers, will work as a consultant and continue his association with Tesco. "I'm sorry to be leaving in many ways, but I'm not going totally. This will allow me to look at other prospects and to spend more time in Adelaide.
Wine category manager Jason Godley said Reedman had made an "outstanding contribution" to the development of Tesco's wine range. "We're sorry that he's going but it throws open new opportunities for us and for him. I'm in the process of recruiting his successor and haven't ruled anything out."