Selling wine in supermarkets, something to be ashamed of?

Often we hear wine producers in France saying, not without a certain pride in their voice that their wine is certainly not sold in supermarkets (grande surfaces).

I wonder why this would be so terrible.

Today’s supermarkets often have as a minimum a very decent selection of wines and sometimes an extremely good one. So what is there to be ashamed of? And you cannot ignore the facts: 88 % of all wines in France are sold in supermarkets.

The wine shops in France only have 7 % of the sales. These shops often specialize in regions like Languedoc-Roussillon and the Rhone Valley, where there are many small producers that find it hard to sell to supermarkets, or in more niche products like biodynamic and natural wine that may need to be explained to customers. The remaining 5 % is direct sales, either at the winery or at wine fairs.

Figurers from

What do you think? Is there a reason to be negative to wine sales in super-markets? Write a comment.

Wine shop in a market

Wine shop in a market, copyright BKWine Photography

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3 Responses to Selling wine in supermarkets, something to be ashamed of?

  1. Tomas January 26, 2014 at 22:07 #

    In a country which has had an oversupply of wine for decades, and profitability problems for many small growers, many producers should probably be happy if their wines actually do sell. 🙂 Of course, this type of statement is probably meant to imply that “we don’t have to use any outlet available in order to sell our wines”, i.e., “we’re much better and more sought-after than our neighbours and the local cooperative”…

  2. Winepine January 29, 2014 at 01:23 #

    I don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of, but I think wine and groceries should be separate. This is how Fairway does it and it works. It’s refreshing to talk to someone who really knows about wine, and can tell your what’s going on at the moment. A wine specialist can give you some real insight as to what you may or may not like as far as their current selections. Your not going to find this strolling down the beer aisle with a shopping cart.

  3. Jamie April 23, 2014 at 22:13 #

    Its a classic statement, like they say beggars cant be choosers. People often say its not in our strategy to sell into super markets etc, but if they produce less than 5000 cases, off course its not, but for any medium to large producers its not a choice – they need to sell to everyone to build a brand. Super markets like any wine retailer needs to make money.

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