Asda appoints world’s first Sommeasier

Asda has appointed the world’s first ‘Sommeasier’ and created the ‘Sommeasier’s Guide to Wine’, to help shoppers navigate the world of wine.

New research commissioned by the supermarket chain, which was conducted by OnePoll amongst 1,500 UK respondents between July 13 and July 14, reveals that although Brits have become much more adventurous when it comes to new food trends, they stick to what they know in the wine aisle.

Over one-fifth of those surveyed (22%) said they can find the vast amount of wine to choose from intimidating and don’t know where to start when it comes to picking a new bottle.

Of those questioned, almost two-fifths (39%) cannot name any wine varieties and a further 17% think there are only three grape varieties to choose from: red, white and rosé.

Over a third of UK drinkers admit to buying the same bottle of wine every time they fancy a tipple and never trying anything new, and 15% spend less than 10 seconds picking a bottle as ‘wine fright’ takes over.

As a result, Asda’s list of top-selling wines has remained relatively unchanged for the past 10 years, with the usual suspects consistently making the list of most-purchased wines. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz are the top choices for red wine, while Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay are white wine favourites.

Asda wine expert Ed Betts, who has spent the last 17 years perfecting his wine knowledge, has taken up the role of Sommeasier in a bid to help bamboozled Brits expand their wine knowledge, and has compiled an easy to understand guide to the wine aisle.

Ed said: “With so many colours, grapes and countries to choose from, selecting a bottle of wine can be daunting. Whilst some restaurants have wine specialists called Sommeliers, we wanted to come up with a simple solution to enable customers to have the confidence and understanding to make the right choices for themselves. So the idea of a ‘Sommeasier’ was born.

“Our ‘Sommeasier’s Guide’ will help remove the mystery around wine and the jargon associated with it, encouraging shoppers to try something new.”

Over half (53%) of Brits surveyed thought the world of wine can be rather snobby, with one fifth (20%) finding it especially awkward when people sniff and swill the glass when trying wine, and a further 42% saying they find the terminology used to describe wine confusing.

Most understand terms such as ‘dry’ (76%), ‘crisp’ (52%) and ‘full-bodied’ (56%), but are baffled when it comes to descriptions such as ‘complex’ (15%) or ‘dense’ (12%), or terms such as ‘elegant’ (13%) and ‘flamboyant’ (6%).

Asda’s ‘Sommeasier’s Guide to Wine’ includes a jargon busting section, helping uncertain Brits to understand that, for example, a ‘crisp wine’ isn’t in fact a wine that goes well with your favourite bowl of crisps, but rather a tipple usually high in acidity.

Making wine even more accessible, Asda has expanded its award-winning Wine Atlas range of entry-level, affordable bottles from around the world, helping make the choice easier for customers looking for something a little different.

You can download the ‘Sommeasier’s Guide to Wine’ here: www.asdagoodliving.co.uk/food/features/a-beginners-guide-to-wine.

Each week more than 18 million customers visit Asda’s websites and its 645 stores, which comprise 30 supercentres, 392 superstores, 155 supermarkets, 33 Asda Living stores, and 35 standalone petrol stations.

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