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14 October 2016

Aldi sells organic wine in beer bottles

Millennials are seen as such a strange breed of consumers that the German discount retailer Aldi has decided to launch its own range of craft wines in 0.5 litre beer bottles with groovy looking labels and sealed with crown caps. The reason? Craft beer is setting the standard for the whole alcohol category.

In the UK Aldi is set to shake up the wine category with a new wine range, designed to attract millennials by using cues normally associated with craft beer or artisan spirits. In November 2016 it will start selling four wines, which were created in partnership with Origin Wines from South Africa. It includes a Craft & Origin Organic White and Organic Red Wine 2016 (at GBP 2.99/USD 3.70 for a 0.5 litre bottle) and No Monkey Business White Moskato 2016 and No Monkey Business Moskato Rose 2016 (each at GBP 2.49/USD 3.10 for a 0.5 litre bottle).

With a nod to craft beer customs, the funny spelling of Moskato (it should be spelt Moscato) is obviously deliberate as is the obvious steal of the Monkey moniker from the popular gin brand Monkey 47 (owned by Pernod Ricard) and the Denver-based winery Infinite Monkey Theorem, which is delivering top-shelf wine to the masses in 250 ml cans sold in four-packs.

Aldi’s UK director of wine, Mike James, told media that having often read about wine being boring and that winemakers should learn from craft beer and boutique gins, they decided to do something about this. Thus, they “deconstructed” traditional wine and changed it. Instead of putting the wine into a 0.75 litre bottle, they put it in a half-litre bottle. And instead of a wine bottle, they chose a beer bottle. And, instead of talking about food pairings on the back label, they will talk about fun and being different.

To appeal to the palates of Millennials, Aldi opted for a sweet wine with a low alcohol content, so a Moscato, which is naturally low in alcohol, became their wine of choice. Their red wine is Shiraz-based. Both the red and white varieties are organic, which fits with the craft style.

Aldi hopes the range will be a success. If it is not, they will think of another way to engage with the millennial generation, which does not seem to be very interested in wine generally, as it grew up to fancy craft beer.