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M&S encourages consumers to trade up with ‘Classics’ range

Published:  11 June, 2020

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has launched a new ‘Classics’ wine range comprising key wine styles from around the world. 

The initial range, which has been a year in the making, consists of 18 predominantly Old World wines. It will be followed by a second sized wave of primarily New World wines in September.

M&S said the range, priced between £7-£12, would provide “quality at outstanding value”, giving those interested in expanding their knowledge “affordable access to classic examples of the world’s best-loved wine styles and regions”.

With a key focus on authenticity M&S winemakers, Belinda Kleinig and Sue Daniels, said they had worked closely with a range of regional experts to create the wines, from the Sichel family in Bordeaux to Touraine expert Paul Buisse and authority on German Riesling, Gerd Stepp.  

It had been “really exciting to sit down and map out the best wines in the world, and then to set out to make our own”, said Daniels, adding a lot of benchmarking had been done at the beginning to find out what customers expect from any particular region.

“We sought out the specialists in every region to bring in the very best examples of the style possible in this price range. We’re really proud of the results, which amount to a fantastic introduction to the whole world of wine,” she said. 

Kleinig added: “We curated this range to help our customers find interesting wines, with Sue and I coming up with what we thought were the classic wine styles and classic wine regions. 

“We then worked with our wine buyers to find the highest quality wines from those specific regions. And, really importantly, at the most accessible price points with the aim of encouraging customers to trade up from an entry level wine to something more interesting.”  

Working predominantly with suppliers M&S has worked with “for years and years”, the retailer also explored and found some new suppliers, including specialists in Rioja and the Loire Valley, with highlights from the 'Classics' range including a Rioja Reserva, a German Riesling, a Touraine Sauvignon Blanc, a Gavi, a Beaujolais and a Pinot Grigio.  

“The intention was to come up with this range that we stamp with M&S to give confidence and assurance to customers that they can trust us to buy into these wines," said Kleinig.

Daniels added: “It’s accessible for those who are just ‘dipping their toe’ into wine but has enough examples that even dedicated wine fans could discover something new and broaden their knowledge.”

M&S said the range, which marks the retailer’s biggest wine launch in recent years, marked an “exciting start” of a number of new launches aimed at expanding and diversifying its offering.