Tesco wine chief hoists himself by his own petard. Ouch.


Wineoftheweek returned from an enforced absence this week wondering how we might resume hostilities in the war against vinous pomposity.

So a big thank you for @HarpersWine for this magnificent tweet from last weeks London Wine Fair. It seems that Tesco’s Dan Jago thinks that Naked Wines’ Rowan Gormley is Nigel Farage.

Tesco wine club

Tesco's finest contribution to wine tripe

Just so we have this clear. Dan Jago is the Head wine honcho at a corporate monolith that sells low quality branded wine on permanent discount. Rowan Gormley is an innovative online wine entrepreneur who wants to put wine buyers in direct contact with wine makers.

I guess the choice for the wine consumer is: Choose a wine merchant who appeals to you passionately or choose a supermarket that can sell you Blossom Hill in boxes for a few quid and 100 club card points.

So if Naked Wines are UKIP, what does that make Tesco? Best answer receives a week’s worth of Tesco Pet Insurance*


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18 Responses to Tesco wine chief hoists himself by his own petard. Ouch.

  1. Andrew from PawPaw May 25, 2011 at 21:19 #

    He really needs to look at the yawn-worthy line-up of Tesco wines before making such a statement.

  2. Nova May 26, 2011 at 14:03 #


  3. Aremach May 26, 2011 at 14:20 #

    So logically, a lot of people really aren’t very bothered about Tesco

  4. Alfredo May 26, 2011 at 15:31 #

    It would be better if Tesco decided to get someone with a bare minimum knowledge about wine to buy decent wines, not necessarily expensive, and avoid so many fake special offers. Wine wise they virtually sell mostly crap, or expensive crap.

    As a tesco shareholder I feel that any salary being paid on wine sourcing is being wasted at the moment.


    • Gavino May 26, 2011 at 16:20 #

      Couldn’t agree more Alfredo. Thanks for the comment.

  5. Dan May 26, 2011 at 16:42 #

    The thing that really irks is seeing the markup made on Wines in the big supermarkets (Tesco being no exception). Take as an example Spanish Ribera del Duero. V/good bottles in Spain – sub €6 (and those that know would probably complain at that price too). Mediocre one in Tesco (own brand Finest) £10. Makes me cry that when I go down there I get some superb wines at very reasonable rates, but putting them on a train and bringing them up here takes the price up 3* or 4*……

    • Gavino May 26, 2011 at 16:47 #

      You’re right Dan. The ‘finest’ label hides a multitude of vinous marketing sins. For my money, the guys who do this type of ‘good, better, best’ range is The Wine Society. I worked there for a while and they provide a level of quality unsurpassed in their own label range. Of course, it helps that they are a not for profit company!

  6. Jane May 26, 2011 at 17:09 #

    I love and buy Naked Wines and have not been back to Tesco since. Naked Wines understand value and quality and access wines Tesco would not even look at because Tesco think quality = high cost and price and must be a well known name or region. Go Naked Wines, you are a brilliant concept!!

  7. Old Parn May 26, 2011 at 20:13 #

    Tesco is like the Communist Party in China under Chairman Mao. Appealing to people doesn’t really come into it.

  8. Santiago May 26, 2011 at 20:19 #

    I’d be the last person to defend Tesco and their fake discounts but Naked is very much a clever marketing concept which is basically the Pieroth sales technique applied to the internet. Scylla and Charybdis.

    • Greg Banbury May 27, 2011 at 09:21 #

      I think you’ve got your wires crossed…

      At Naked we support independent winemakers in exchange for preferential prices for our customers.

      We have 50,000 of these customers who get 33% CashBack on their orders and have helped support 22 winemakers from around the world.

      In no way does this resemble the Pieroth sales technique…

      Greg, Naked Wines

  9. James May 27, 2011 at 09:06 #

    Are Dan Jago’s comments regarding Naked Wines not just sour grapes? A bit like Tesco’s wine when you come to think of it.



  10. Helen May 27, 2011 at 15:49 #

    Has reminded me not to buy wine from Tesco this evening, but use my Naked Wines voucher and get it delivered in the morning instead.

  11. warddem May 28, 2011 at 15:12 #

    I attended the conference and must say that Dan Jago played the Goliath-card indeed. Being the biggest player on the field he was able to show impressive numbers and statistics and felt unbeatable. When Rowan kicked of and started talking about his framework that brings winedrinkers and winemakers closer to eachother, Goliath might have felt that he needs to watch out for little David’s naked idea.

  12. Jane May 29, 2011 at 10:51 #

    Okay folks – controversy time. The supermarkets do occasionally sell a decent quality bottle of wine at a decent price – you just have to know what you are looking for … and there lies the rub.

    Not many Brits know what a decent quality wine should even taste like … I’m sorry my countrymen but it’s the truth. How can we know when we’ve been educated (brainwashed?) by the supermarkets as to what a decent bottle of wine should taste like ……

    Naked Wines markets to a niche audience with a ground-breaking business model, appealing to those Brits who do know a good wine when they see one – and are prepared to pay to drink it. These consumers have been suffering in silence for a good few years now as the supermarkets took over the wine retailing world with a tsunami of mediocrity ……. Tesco will continue to supply the wine-drinkers of Britain with rubbish for a while yet so it’s up to the innovators to come through and raise everyone’s game – that’s wht Tesco feel threatened. Or, perhaps Mr Jago is a closet Naked fan and just wanted to give them some publicity.

  13. Anders May 30, 2011 at 06:02 #

    Dan Jago is a wine man. Rowan Gormley is a marketeer.

    Their motivations are completely different.

  14. alex June 6, 2011 at 20:58 #

    Gavin Williams Profile: “As an independent consultant my clients have included Liberty, McArthurGlen, Value Retail, FirstQuench, Naked Wines, Octopus, Rawk, as well as consultancy with eCommerce specialists Biglight.”

    err…No longer working for Tesco….consults for Naked Wines. So, no bias there then.

    Funny yes. Impartial no.

    • Gavino June 8, 2011 at 16:42 #

      Fair enough Alex – although, as you can tell from the nonsense I write within this blog, I make no claims to be impartial!

      I should also say that I buy my wine from neither Naked Wines or Tesco. I’m a fuddy-duddy Wine Society man all the way

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