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Survey finds supermarkets unhelpful

Old-fashioned practices that end up confusing wine shoppers are still evident on the drinks shelves of the nation’s biggest retail outlets, according to a survey carried out on behalf of, that saw 500 wine drinkers polled in the last two weeks of October 2010.

The survey reveals that shoppers feel supermarkets aren’t catering for all tastes and that "unless you’re clued up on the wines of the world you’re made to feel lost in the wine section".

Forty five percent of respondents said they felt intimidated by the people in charge of wines at supermarkets. says the biggest complaint was the frustration customers feel when trying to get sensible information about wine from supermarkets.

“Almost half of the people we questioned felt supermarkets cater mainly for people who know their wine and give little information or guidance to those who are less familiar with the subject,” a spokesperson for the website said.

“Supermarkets dominate the retail wine trade but this survey shows they are missing an opportunity to inform, educate and enthuse the public about wine.”

The survey found it’s not just supermarket management which is letting shoppers down.

Forty one per cent of respondents felt there was a lack of clear labelling on bottles and on shelves, making finding the right wine doubly difficult.  

The figures suggest the problem isn’t a lack of choice (6%) or even a feeling of too much choice (10%) in supermarkets - it’s simply locating the wine you want that’s too confusing.

“Supermarkets really need to get to grips with the signposting issue,” says the spokesperson. “Just dividing wines into regions does not give enough information for the modern consumer to make a choice.”

When asked their opinions of pubs and restaurants, 60 per cent of respondents said they believe these outlets fail to provide a wide enough choice. A similar number (61%) said they wanted to see more wines with lower alcohol content available.

About the represents the interest of anyone who is interested in wine, from consumers to wine producers, retailers and wine experts.  The website was established to make wine more accessible to the needs and tastes of ordinary consumers - as opposed to connoisseurs - and to make choosing a wine an easier and more enjoyable task. is particularly dedicated to removing the obstacles which make it virtually impossible for consumers to find lighter, healthier wines, in the same way as they can easily locate lighter, healthier foods. seeks to make it easier for wine drinkers to be well informed and to enjoy a glass of wine with peace of mind.




1 November 2010 - Felicity Murray