Sainsbury's completes biggest wine range review in years

17 March, 2017

Sainsbury’s has completed its biggest wine range review in years after seeking to answer shoppers’ desires for more unusual styles, make the fixture easier to navigate and simplify pricing. 

Forty new additions to the range include two wines from China, a Uruguayan Albariño and a huge focus on rosé as the summer months approach.

When asked why Sainsbury’s has decided to champion Chinese wine, buyer Georgina Haughton told OLN: “We’ve been looking to new regions and countries to expand our range and make Sainsbury’s a destination for distinctive wines. 

“China is now the second largest producer of grapes destined for wine production, ahead of France, so it offers a great opportunity to do just that.”

Sainsbury’s launched a Cabernet Gernischt/Cabernet Sauvignon blend made by Changyu Pioneer Wine Co, the oldest wine producer in China, in January, and is now bolstering the range with a Riesling from the same producer.

Haughton said: “Changyu is a really successful global brand and we are able to offer it at a great price for customers when you compare it to other Chinese wines on the market. We are very keen to see how customers respond to these wines. 

“Initial sales of Changyu Noble Dragon Red have already been strong since its launch, which demonstrates a clear customer desire to branch out to new regions. 

“I chose the Cabernet Gernischt because the style is the closest I’d seen to European wines, which I think will help make it an easy transition for customers into a new region.”

BWS category manager Elizabeth Newman said the team has enjoyed scouring the globe for the new wines, and is confident Albariño-loving shoppers will enjoy its Uruguayan example from Bodegas Garzón.

She added: “By investing in our premium ranges we’ve also been able to explore some emerging varieties and regions as we know our customers are always keen to broaden their repertoire and try something new.”

Sainsbury’s has added its first still English wine from Chapel Down, along with eight new Taste the Difference wines, including a Californian Zinfandel from the iconic Chronic Cellars and new offerings from Australia and Italy.

It has also seen sales of rosé grow and has decided to beef up its range with several different styles. 

“This is an increasingly important part of our offering and we’ve launched eight new branded wines, including examples from Miraval, Mirabeau and Baron Gassier, which will also be available in magnum format,” said Newman. 

“Last year, sales of French rosé grew by 25% and this was primarily driven by styles from Provence and Bordeaux, which continue to be particularly popular with our customers and are perfect to enjoy as the weather improves.”




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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