£1m Lidl investment in premium wine

Lidl is aiming for a more specialist approach to wine following a £1 million investment in the launch of a premium range.

From September 27 a selection of wines will be merchandised within an area called The Wine Cellar.

All have been judged – but not selected – by a team of four Masters of Wine, and all but two priced under £10.
Richard Bampfield – who has worked with Lidl in Ireland for four years – teamed up with Ed Adams, Caroline Gilby, and Nancy Gilchrist to appraise the wines.

He told OLN: “We have no say in what’s being sourced, or the selection. That’s done centrally in Germany and they then run tastings from time to time for myself and other members of the panel. We’re presented with wines, generally blind, that we taste and rate. When we know what they are, we
write notes on them.

“If the score is over 80, they will consider using the wine. If it’s not, they probably won’t.”

The 19-strong range is mainly European but contains three Chileans and a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.

It also includes Chablis Premier Cru, Sancerre, Bordeaux Superieur, Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Tawny Port. A Champagne is priced at £12.99.

The Wine Cellar will appear in all 600 Lidl stores and feature wooden crates and a burgundy colour scheme.

Wine category manager Ben Hulme said: “We believe in offering affordable luxury to everyone, and this Wine Cellar is a true extension of that. We’re wanting to offer people the opportunity to enjoy really good wines at prices that aren’t ridiculous.

“Since the recession hit, we’ve seen a shift in customer spending habits with many people, even those from more affluent backgrounds, finding smart ways to continue enjoying fine wines and good food at home. The Lidl Wine Cellar allows you to do just that.”