The range is to expand, with 15 new wines going into shops on October 17 – although it will still occupy the same amount of space in-store.
There is a stronger emphasis on classic French and Italian regions, and some of the higher-end New World wines have been moved from fine wine to that country’s fixture, because it was believed shoppers would look for them there first.
Buyer Michelle Smith explained: “We believe fine wine customers – both those who are buying for home consumption and for gifting – are likely to recognise the more familiar fine wine regions from France, Italy and Spain, such as Tuscany, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rioja. We are really excited to have significantly increased and refocused our fine wine range to feature more classic wines.
“At Sainsbury’s we are finding our customers are returning more to cooking from scratch, and this new, enlarged fine wine range aims to offer them a restaurant-style wine list at home, and reflects great value in comparison with a standard restaurant list.”?The range has been beefed up to 44 including the 15 new lines, with prices ranging from £11.99 to £49.99, but mainly centred around the £15-£20 mark.
“The balance of the new range – nine French, three Italian, two Spanish and one German – reflects the extremely strong growth we are seeing in both French and Italian wine sales – two countries where our sales are absolutely booming again,” said Smith.
There are 4ft bays of fine wines in 165 Sainsbury’s shops and, of those, some 48 have a second bay of the same size. At the moment there are no plans to introduce the range into any more stores. Smith said the look of the fine wine fixture is set to change next year, with trials currently underway.
“We are trying to make this section of wines easier and more accessible to shop, like we did with the rest of the range,” she said.