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Matthew Clark's annual tasting draws a record number of attendees

Published:  10 March, 2016

Matthew Clark's annual portfolio tasting held this week at London's Tobacco Dock drew a crowd and saw visitors numbers soar 40% over last year's attendance numbers.

Both floors that covered the venue were packed with visitors for most the day, a sign that the on-trade business continues to improve.

For Simon Jerrome, purchasing director- wine at Matthew Clark, the portfolio tasting is a great opportunity to win business and showcase the sheer breadth of the 190 producers the company currently works with.

Jerrome said: "It is all about winning business.  Certainly with the new wines we have here, the new suppliers and the new producers- they have been blown away by the amount of effort we put into trying to sell their wines."

The success of the annual tasting comes down to the hard work the team has done around continuing to evolve the wine range on offer as on-trade customers needs continue to change.

"We have seen our range evolve.  We aren't just filling in the gaps, but we are really starting to get some of those smaller producers and interesting producers to meet our customer base which is changing," said Jerrome.

One area that Matthew Clark has been gaining traction has been within the hotel market as their needs have become more sophisticated. "Hotels have latched on to the idea that their food has to be better particularly in London.  Their offering has to be better and therefore their wine range has to be better.  The two go together. We are really well placed to meet that need and that is working really well for us right now," he said.

Equally, service has become a critical part of the Matthew Clark offering. Jerrome said: "Training is key. Service is key and delivery is key as well. Training is key because it helps our customer grow their business. It is important that we work with them and help them to sell more wines at a higher price point. But service is everything."

In the last year Matthew Clark has seen boutique hotels grow by 12% year on year (MAT Jan 2016), local outlets were also up 21% year on year (MAT Jan 16), and top food venues by 12% (MAT Nov 15- Jan 16). Most recently Matthew Clark added the new M Restaurant Group as a new customer they have won.

Matthew Clark commercial director Ian Smith was pleased with the success of the tasting and said: "It was wonderful to see the Matthew Clark teams, suppliers and producers all pull together to put on a fantastic show for our ever supportive customers. It was also great to welcome on board so many prospective customers including those from some really exciting premium accounts. We received such a positive reaction to the selection of wines showcased."

Jerrome believes offering great service and wide range of the wines which is continuing to drive the success of the Matthew Clark.

He said: "We are not a specialist in any one area in the world.  But you have to build a range that fits in the entry level right up through the premium stuff. You have to have balanced range."