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Brief Published: 27 Apr 2015

Wine Strips Let Consumers Try Before they Buy

Beringer has launched a set of plastic sampling strips

Californian wine brand Beringer has launched a set of plastic sampling strips that allow consumers to taste three of the Napa Valley estate's best-selling wines before purchase.

The non-alcoholic tasting strips are available in selected Kroger grocery stores in the US, placed in dispensers on shelves stocking the wine. Consumers can sample Beringer's Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and White Zinfandel by placing the dissolvable strips on their tongues, experiencing the fruity flavours of the wines.

When shopping for wine, many price-conscious consumers tend to seek out deals, rather than experimenting with new, more premium options. In the UK, for example, 90% of wine consumed is bought from major supermarket chains, with 60% on discount, according to UK newspaper the Guardian.

To engage consumers, retailers must simplify the buying process, catering for consumers who often feel intimidated by their lack of wine knowledge. For more on this, see Reframing Wine.

For further insight into the way in which brands are making wine more accessible to mainstream consumers, see Gen Y: The New Wine Consumer and Rebranding Alcohol. For more on apps that simplify the wine buying process, see App Simplifies Alcohol Purchases and Social Wine App Targets Chinese Drinkers.

Restaurants are also taking steps to encourage consumers to experiment with wine. British Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton is set to launch a new restaurant in London that will be led by a sommelier. For more on this, see Sommelier-Led Restaurant.