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Waitrose launches new “experimental” range of wine

Published:  16 May, 2019

Waitrose is launching nine new own label wines from “lesser-known” grape varieties.

The ‘W’ range, which launches on 17 June, will feature wines from different regions and countries including Sardinia, Austria and Chile.

It follows a survey by the supermarket which showed the most familiar grape varieties in the UK are Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. They were recognised by at least 85% of the 2,000 people surveyed.

However, 78% of people had not heard of the nine wines in the ‘W’ range

“The ‘W’ range has been a whole team effort, with a great deal of care and effort being placed on selecting the wines we think our customers will find really exciting,” said Waitrose & Partners wine buying manager, James Bone.

“We want this range to inspire and encourage our shoppers to experiment even further with their wine choices and try something they’ve never heard of or tried before,” he added.

“We’ve worked with talented winemakers across Europe and South America to bring together a range of wonderfully exciting wines at affordable prices, some of which have never been widely available in the UK before. We see this as an ever evolving range which we hope to expand even further in the future.”

The full range consists of a Marselan and a Petit Manseng from France, a Pais from Chile, a Cannonau and a sparkling Pecorino from Italy, a Spanish Mencia, a German Elbling, a Portugese Arinto and a Zweigelt rosé from Austria. All are priced between £6.99 and £9.99.

Waitrose said the survey also showed that the survey also revealed that France and Italy were the most popular European countries with UK wine drinkers, with 68% of respondents saying they had tried French wine compared to only 11% of people that had tried wine from Sardinia.

Meanwhile, France and Spain came top of the list of winemaking holiday destinations, with 45% saying they’ve tried the local wine while visiting them.