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Brief Published: 5 Dec 2019

Lidl Launches Wine-Tasting Experience


German grocery retailer Lidl is helping its customers understand more about wine with its new UK-based multisensory tasting experience, called Lidl Chateaux Noir, which takes place partly in the dark to maximise taste sensations.

Guided by Lidl's UK-based Master of Wine Richard Bampfield, guests are led through three rooms, all designed to play with the senses. The first is a ‘Discombobulation Chamber’, a candy-striped space that throws off the senses with visual tricks of scale. Participants then enter a pitch-black room where they are served eight wines by waiters wearing night-vision goggles, accompanied by a commentary from Bampfield. The final room, called ‘Salle de Noel’, is a festive wonderland decked out with Christmas trees, mince pies and cheeseboards.

The pop-up, which sold out within six hours, appeared in Manchester, London and Glasgow in November 2019, and cost £4 ($5.15) each. All proceeds were donated to UK children’s charity NSPCC.

Bampfield said: “We want to encourage visitors to see if they can identify a wine’s quality in a completely new setting – using darkness to dispel common prejudices that come with buying wine. This is a unique opportunity to forget everything you thought you knew about wine and come and challenge your senses with us.”

The initiative follows the launch of Lidl’s Digital Wine Sommelier – another strategy designed to engage with younger, fun-seeking consumers.

To discover how multisensory environments can be used to deconstruct the experience of flavour, read Sensory Edibles and London Cocktail Week 2018: Top Takeaways. For a look at sensory play in the hospitality realm, see Three Sensory Strategies for Hotels, and for deeper analysis into sensory consumer engagement across diverse industries, read The Sensory Opportunity.

Meanwhile, Reframing Wine presents ways to market wine to younger consumers, and Supermarket of the Future explores other supermarket-led tactics to engage new consumer cohorts.