Tesco launches low-alcohol wine range to keep up with demand

The UK’s largest grocer, Tesco, has launched a new low-alcohol wine range to keep up with the public’s taste for lighter drinks.

The range includes two sparkling wines, as well as a sauvignon blanc, garnacha-rose and cabernet tempranillo all less than 0.5%. (Photo: Tesco)

The firm claims that the new range is the first of its kind to be sold in a supermarket that can compete with popular wine varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc, “without any compromise on taste.”

The range will include five bottles — including still and sparkling versions of sauvignon blanc and garnacha-rosé, and a cabernet tempranillo — and are made using a spinning cone technique that gently removes the alcohol without sacrificing the aroma, quality and flavour profile of the wine.

Typically, non-alcoholic wines are made either by only fermenting the grapes for a short period of time, or by removing the alcohol and replacing it with various sugars and artificial flavourings to bring back the flavours lost through the process.

The wines, which are nearly alcohol free – less than 0.5% – have been developed in partnership with leading international wine producers Felix Solis, and will be available in over 700 stores across the country and online and will be priced from £3.

Tesco wine expert Alexandra Runciman, who developed the range, said that more and more, customers are looking for high quality, low-alcohol drinks, citing the growing low-alcohol beer and cider market as a key example.

“Consumption of alcohol in the UK down is down by 18 per cent over the last decade,” she said, “and we’re seeing more customers looking for a quality wine drinking experience without the alcohol.”

“In recent years we’ve seen improvements in the quality and range of low and no alcohol ciders and beers which have put the wine equivalent firmly in the shade.”

Earlier this month, Tesco was named as the UK’s largest grocery chain according to sales figures from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel.

The news comes after a number of European supermarkets have begun to develop their low-alcohol offerings.

Last December, German challenger Lidl signalled a focus on lower alcohol wines with the launch of its New Year Wine Cellar selection.

And in August 2017, Aldi bumped up its own low-alcohol range by adding four 5.5% ABV wines to its stock.

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