Lidl unveils Spring Wine Tour, as it confirms new wine head

UK discounter Lidl has unveiled its latest Spring wine tour of primarily modern Mediterranean wines, as it confirms a new head of the wine department.

(Photo: Wiki)

The retailer, which renamed its successful Wine Cellar concept as Wine Tour around 18 months ago, is releasing 28 wines – nine white wines, one sparkling, two Spanish rosé, 15 reds and two sweet wines – for Spring and Easter, which go on sale from 28 March.

However, speaking to db at its Spring tasting last week, the retailer has also confirmed that wine buying manager Anna Krettman left the business in December for a new opportunity in Canada, and the wine department is now being headed up by Verena Alter, Lidl’s Head of Food Buying.

Alter has been with the company since May 2013, after joining Lidl from Metro Cash & Carry, and is responsible for a number of categories in addition to wine. Krettman joined the discounter in 2015 as a protegee of Ben Hulme, the graduate trainee turned UK, later International Head of BWS at Lidl, who is credited with turning around the discounters UK booze sales by launching the Lidl’s Wine Cellar concept. Krettmann took on the role of wine buying manager in 2016 when Hulme headed to the German head office to become the company’s international wine category director.

Spring wines

At the tasting, Lidl  consultant MW Ed Adams told db the Spring tour was predominantly a modern Mediterranean selection with a strong representation of wines from the Rhône and South of France for Easter that had been very positively received.

Highlights included a Colnem Costière de Nimes (rrp: £5.99), Spanish verdejo La Bien Pinta Rueda (rrp: £5.99), a Morgan from Beajolais (rrp: £7.99) a Vinsobres Cru Côtes du Rhône (rrp: £7.99), a Jamais Renoncer Rousillon, where there is “value to be had” and a Carles Priorat Crianza (rrp: £6.99).

“Spain is also coming to the fore and will be for the next tour,” he added.

Consultant MW Caroline Gilby added it was nice to see things that were not “run-of-the-mill”, such as an Eje Monastrell, the two sweet wines, a Tokaji Szamorodni Béres and a Malaga Virgen Moscatel (both rrp: £6.99), and the Cru Beajolais, Morgan (rrp: £7.99) that was both “slightly off the beaten track” and offered good value.

Lidl said consumers were increasingly having more confidence to try less usual wines. “The Tokaji is not mainstream in the UK, but Lidl is building consumers’ confidence,” a representative noted.

Around 20 of the still wines, which retail for around £4.99 – 7.99 are new to the retailer, but some have been included in previous Wine Tours.

“Some have been brought back if sales were good, it’s a good way to see what customers enjoy,” Lidl confirmed.

Lidl’s core range still numbers around 100 overall, and while there are no plans to widen this, wines that have performed well in the Wine Tours are occasionally added to the range – recent additions to the core range include a Côtes du Rhône that performed really well last year.

It is also planning to keep the price still wines in the collection at around the £ 5 – £8 price mark, although more expensive wines are introduced at peak seasons such as Christmas.

“If it happens to be a high price point, we would have to check that it fits our [strategy],” a representative said.

Speaking about Brexit, the retailer said it “planned to make sure it was business as usual as much as possible so it doesn’t affect our customers” – although would not be drawn on whether it is stockpiling wine or not.

One Response to “Lidl unveils Spring Wine Tour, as it confirms new wine head”

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