They are the kind of numbers that every supermarket would like to see. Lidl’s wine sales have grown by 38 per cent year on year as more of us are finding good flavours and even better prices at the discount chains. While Lidl’s stores tend not to be in prime locations, there are now enough of them, usually with car parks, so it isn’t difficult to call in and buy a bottle or two.
Lidl has just launched a new French promotion which sees 40 new wines, from Muscadet to Champagne, Sancerre to Sauternes, added to its normally tight, focused range. All of them have been chosen by Lidl wine buyer Ben Hulme who has enlisted the help of Master of Wine Richard Bampfield to score and select the wines. Nothing graded at less than 80 out of 100 gets a place on the shelves.
What I really like about this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it offer is that Lidl has just gone out to the market and picked up some good wines. There hasn’t been a development programme, no special labels, no highly contrived marketing plan. That is the way to keep prices low.
I also like the way they haven’t just stuck to the usual grape varieties and regions. This offer includes wines from Jurançon, Chusclan, Savoie and Saint-Bris. These are not wines that many people have experience of, but if the price is right and the flavours are good then it gets shelf-space until stocks run out. And that is the key to these special offers at Lidl. When it’s gone, it really has gone, so if you buy some of these wines, don’t wait too long before you try them so you can dash back to buy more.
I tasted through some of the new additions to the range. Here are my favourites...