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M&S named Supermarket of the Year by International Wine Challenge for second year running

Published:  17 July, 2014

Marks & Spencer has claimed the International Wine Challenge Supermarket of the Year award for the second year running.

The wine trade's finest gathered at the glamorous Trophy Awards Dinner for the 31st International Wine Challenge held at Grosvenor House Hotel in London last night.

Marks & SpencerMarks & Spencer scooped the Supermarket of the Year award for the second year runningOther International Wine Challenge winners included Tesco for Direct Merchant of the Year, Oddbins and Berry Bros & Rudd.

Meanwhile, Oddbins, which has seen a recent revival in fortunes, has won the High Street Chain of the Year award. The IWC said the group's new strategy which focuses on individual bottle sales rather than discount cases, has allowed it to go from "strength to strength", adding that "this victory is testament to its renewed success".

OddbinsOddbins scooped the IWC High Street Chain awardOddbins, which currently has 54 stores, has ambitions to reach an estate of 300 shops.

Marks & Spencer, Cheshire Oaks store design

Britain's oldest wine & spirit merchant Berry Bros & Rudd secured the evening's top merchant prize - taking home the coveted IWC Merchant of the Year 2014 prize. The company, which has traded from the same shop in London's St James' since 1698, now has offices across the globe in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Berry Bros ensures top service by employing more Masters of Wine - it has eight - than any other UK wine company. It also picked up the award for Large Independent Merchant of the Year.

Aside from the top gong for Supermarket of the Year, M&S won a host of other IWC awards this year, including one trophy, six gold medals, 50 silver and 82 bronze medals. It was also awarded the IWC Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2014.

Tesco was named IWC Direct Merchant of the Year, also for the second consecutive year, for its Tesco Wine by the Case service.

Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the IWC, said: "The International Wine Challenge is dedicated to celebrating not only excellent winemakers but also wonderful wine merchants. Our excellent Merchant Award winners play a hugely important role in getting some of the best wines from around the world to the UK's wine drinkers. They are the gatekeepers of fine wine, exciting shoppers and enhancing their enjoyment of wine. It is the passion, expertise and dedication of these merchants which ensures that great new wines are discovered and shared, and that shoppers receive the best wines they can for any occasion or budget."

Oddbins, which is looking to grow its estate from 35 to 100, is launching its own range of craft beers.