M&S in Eastern-Med wine push

Supermarket chain Marks & Spencer is championing wines from the Eastern Mediterranean in an attempt to tap into the growing call for flavours from this part of the world.

Citing the success of Israeli-born restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi, Emma Dawson, wine buyer at the retailer told the drinks business that food from the Eastern Mediterranean area was an emerging trend and that the wines could potentially follow such interest.

As a result M&S has created a new range of 15 labels including wines from Croatia, Slovenia, Israel, Lebannon, Greece and Turkey.

The wines went into stores this week and Emma said that “the early indications are good” in terms of sales.

Notably, she said purchases were spread across the entire selection of wines, pointing out that “there is no clear winner”.

Speaking of the chosen labels, she said “We’ve worked really hard to retail most of the wines under £10 which is really important as we can’t expect customers to be spending a huge amount on something they are taking a risk on.”

However, Emma stressed the quality available in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Israeli-born restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi

“When we started exploring these countries we realised there was a lot to be discovered and a lot of good winemaking.”

In terms of style, she summed up the wines as being somewhere between Western Europe and the New World.

“There’s the intensity of flavour you find in the New World with an Old World twist – it’s somewhere in between the two, and very distinctive.”

To promote the wines M&S are offering online buyers mixed cases and in-store shoppers will see a section marked out under the Eastern Mediterranean banner.

To see the full range click here.

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