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The wine trade has pulled out all the stops in support of National Wine Month — between offering courses and wine consultations online, and opportunities for consumers to meet winemakers.
Running throughout May and coordinated by the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, the initiative is designed to bring the whole trade together under a promotional umbrella to create awareness for wine.
All the major retailers, over 70 wine brands and a further 54 companies have got behind the push with initiatives in-store, via customer communications, online and at point of sale. WSET and other educators are hosting over 80 wine education and tasting events around the country.
As part of the push Treasury Wine Estates and Tesco have teamed up to launch a personalised wine shopping service. Consumers who find the wine aisle intimidating or confusing are being invited to book via phone or email for a one-to-one 15 minute consultation with a Treasury Wine Estates expert in Tesco stores across the UK.
Molson Coors is also supporting National Wine Month as a key sponsor and will be working with its on-trade partners to raise awareness of the scheme, as well as offering a special promotion on Chapel Down English wines.
Chilean brand Montes, distributed by PLB in the UK, is offering customers the chance to win a dinner party in their own home, hosted by the winery. The winner and up to six guests will have the chance to discover more about the history and diversity of Chilean wines in general, as well as taking part in a wine tasting, having a four-course meal and taking home a goody bag of Montes wines and gifts.
Ross Brown, chief executive of Australian family firm Brown Brothers, also handled by PLB, will discuss the latest trends and developments for lighter drinking and talk about the range on consumer radio on May 20.
Hal Wilson, managing director of Cambridge Wine Merchants, has lined up a full calendar of events for the month, including sherry masterclasses, a Portuguese wine promotion, en primeur tastings, tutored tastings on Port, Italy and Portugal, Bordeaux dinners and free tastings of wines of the week.
The WSET has developed a new online wine course costing £25 and with the added incentive of a £25 voucher to go towards a WSET qualification course.
The Champagne Bureau has published a step-by-step guide to tasting Champagne as part of National Wine Month. Françoise Peretti, director, said the month-long celebrations were “an excellent opportunity for Champagne experts and beginners to celebrate and explore the wide diversity.”
WSET chief executive Ian Harris said: “We are delighted at the strong level of support from the industry for the first National Wine Month and media interest has been high which demonstrates the attraction of interesting and relevant wine information.”
Story by Gemma McKenna
Courtesy of Harpers Wine and Spirits Trade Review