Majestic Wine, the UK’s largest specialist drinks retailer, is rolling out a new ‘wine fitting’ service in all 200 of its branches – and giving away almost one million bottles of wine to its customers.
The move follows the news that wine is now the most popular alcoholic drink in the UK with 22.1m bottles consumed a week. However, only 12 percent of people ‘know their way around a wine list’ – while 25 percent of consumers stated they knew ‘absolute nothing’ about the liquid, according to a survey conducted by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust last month.
Britain now boasts 33.9 million wine drinkers according to YouGov, with 81% of alcohol drinking adults saying they had enjoyed wine in the last 12 months. Majestic is hoping that by focusing on styles and customers’ tastes, it can help more people discover the bottle for them.
The wine fitting service, which focuses on the stylistic qualities of wine rather than grapes or regions, is based around a blind tasting of eight different bottles. Customers will then be sent their own personalised ‘wine profile’; a breakdown of their likes and dislikes based on the tasting. Each wine corresponds to a different style, or wine colour.
“This is tasting for the streaming generation.” explains Joshua Lincoln, MD at Majestic. “In the fast moving, experience-based new world of retail, customers are desperate to get their head around wine, and do it quickly. We hope to introduce them to new styles, grapes and regions so they can begin to explore the brilliant bottles that are out there. It’s just like how the likes of Spotify or Netflix can help you pick new music or films that match your interests, but you may not have previously heard of or considered. We want to take the obscure, and make it box office – there’s no reason Picpoul couldn’t be the new Stranger Things.”
Majestic’s new merchandising means the store is now navigable by these ‘wine colours’ – each one indicating the flavour profile of a wine (e.g. pink for light, fruity reds – or blue for aromatic whites).
“Wine is now the number one drink in the UK, but still perplexing to many when confronted with rows of bottles. We want our customers to love every bottle – whether they’re new to wine or a seasoned pro. Even customers who have been shopping with Majestic since the 1980’s are trying the new wine fitting – and finding new horizons and rediscovering classics they revisited for years. It’s fantastic to see” adds Lincoln.