Oddbins trials range of natural wines

19 May, 2010

Oddbins is to experiment with a range of “natural” wines in 10 stores and online.

If successful, the line-up will expand from eight wines and be rolled out to further stores in the estate.

Managing director Simon Baile said: “There’s been mixed press about natural wines but this range is fantastic. It’s always about what’s in the bottle.

“Natural wines are something we’re keen to pursue at Oddbins,” he said, although he acknowledged they could be “harder for a retailer to handle”.

“We believe that when one gets it right, all the hard work is worth it.”

Staff from the 10 shops involved in the trial will be trained to “explain, hand-sell and educate consumers” about natural wines, Baile added.

The line-up includes a 100% Menu Pineau Pétillant Naturel 2006 (rrp £19.99), Loire Chenin Blanc Anjou Blanc René Mosse 2008 (£19.99), and Grenache/Carignan/Syrah blend Les Airs Côtes du Rhône 2009 (£8.99).

The move is part of a wider push by Oddbins to expand its range of environmentally friendly wines, according to head of buying Richard Verney. “We’re moving away from standard producers,” he said. “I’m very keen on making sure there is wine from sustainable sources, made using organic and biodynamic practises.

“I’m most excited about natural wine – the interest of flavours and how they offer something different. I cannot see it being a massive commercial movement, but it’s a move to sustainable viticulture.”

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