Earlier this year, over 25,000 wine drinkers consumed over 220,000 tasting samples across Majestic’s nationwide network of 200 stores – the biggest ever blind tasting on record. The results have now been catalogued and mapped, giving for the first time an overview of the wine styles the UK’s loves the most – with some surprising results.
The overall victor, winning the vote from the eight wine lineup with an eye-watering 78% of the stores, was Nero d’Avola – a relatively less well known indigidinious Sicilian red wine. Cabernet Sauvignon nudged into second, with just over 16% of the vote.
With eight different wine styles on taste, Majestic customers were invited to try each wine blind – with the results catalogued by tablet wielding store assistants.
Splitting out the styles, the white wines story is less surprising – with Sauvignon Blanc (Majestic’s best-selling wine) coming out on top in 68% of stores, thrashing Pinot Grigio (22%) Chardonnay (6%) and Viognier (4%).
According to the data, it seems that London and Bristol drinkers are more likely to favour ‘classical’ styles of wine, with the oaky and rich Cabernet Sauvignon the most popular choice. All except for the North London borough of Muswell Hill – which can fight it out with Dorset to be the Sauvignon Blanc capital of the South. Cumbria, meanwhile, also bucked the nationwide trend – favouring Shiraz above all else.
Across the country, for whites Manchester and the Midlands have the most adventurous palate with the less well known Viognier coming out top – and in Scotland Pinot Grigio is favoured by the Lowlands in comparison to the Sauvignon loving Highlands.
There were also strongholds of Shiraz in the Cotswolds, whilst the Celtic connection in Wales, Cornwall and Devon all came out for Nero d’Avola and the New Zealand Sauvignon.
Commenting on the overall shock result for the Sicilians, Majestic’s Trading Director Robert Cooke said:
“What this clearly shows is that tasting wines, in person, is the best way to shop for them! If you had asked me to pick, from our range over 1,000 wines, which would come out top with over 25,000 taste-voters – I don’t think I’d have ever gone for Nero d’Avola. It just goes to show there can be shocks and turns in all manor of elections.
Our tongues can’t be guided by price, prestige or labels. That’s the joy of a truly blind tasting. It’s not words I expected to be saying but I think we could well be heading for a very Southern Italian-themed Christmas this year!”
How did the tasting work?
Majestic opened up the same eight wines in all 195 branches across the UK. These were then tightly bagged, ensuring all participants could not guess the bottle inside.
Each taster, over 25,000 Majestic customers across 5 days in September, then tasted the wines blind and rated them in the following categories –
- “Not for me”
- “It’s okay”
- “I like it”
- “I love it”
Results were then recorded through a tablet app for every single tasting. The ‘winning wine’ in each store is the wine which received the highest number of “I love it” votes.
|Overall % Favourite||% of Stores #1 choice|
|Favourite just Red Wine|
|Favourite just White Wine % In Store|