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Majestic pinpoints Beaujolais as ‘unexpected hit’ of 2020

Published:  20 November, 2020

Majestic has pinpointed Beaujolais as “one of the unexpected hits” of 2020.

The retailer said it had recorded a 70% leap in like-for-like value sales of wines from the French region between April and September this year.  

Moreover, it said this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau release had broken all records at Majestic, with one bottle sold every 1.44 seconds in the first two hours of trading yesterday morning. 

“For many people, Beaujolais Nouveau may be the only time they experience these Gamay-based reds from Northern France. But what we’ve seen this year is more customers opting for the more ‘serious’ wines of the region – and we’ve had success with whites from the region too this year,’ said Majestic’s Beaujolais buyer, Nadia Williamson. 

“If you go to cru level there’s greater variety to uncover than you might expect too, from the elegant lighter Fleurie to the more robust, age-worthy Morgon. They’re also great chilled or with lighter dishes,” she added.

Away from Beaujolais, Majestic said the lockdowns of 2020 had led to a series of spikes in esoteric and unusual wines. 

“Alongside macro trends, such as online sales almost tripling over the year, there’s been plenty of other areas of interest which show little sign of slowing down going into the Christmas period. This December might therefore see us enjoying one of the most varied and esoteric selections in memory,” said the retailer. 

Whilst historically "Father Christmas (and granny’s) festive favourite”, Majestic said it had also seen a “marked shift” in sherry sales across the rest of the year, with like-for-likes up over 75% between April and September. 

It also pointed to an “explosion of interest” in English wine – sales jumped over 150% during the period driven not just by sparkling wine styles, but also still rosé and whites, it said, while also turning the spotlight on vermouth, of which Majestic said it had recorded a 69% increase in sales. 

“There’s been many other regions which have enjoyed a renaissance during lockdown, with sales of Burgundy, Australia and rosé all seeing big spikes. But there’s an overall trend – and that is the fact we’re all spending a little bit more on our bottles for home drinking,” said Majestic.

That, it added, had nudged the average bottle of Majestic sold up 5% to just over £9 in 2020, from around £8 for the last decade.