Lidl’s Chateaux Noir Returns, Challenging Wine Etiquette and Preconceptions

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Four years after its sell-out success, Lidl (UK) has once again launched its wine tasting event, Chateaux Noir. This unique experience, designed to democratise wine and challenge traditional wine etiquette, aims to change perceptions this festive season.

Recent research indicates that more than a quarter of people still believe that pricier wine labels guarantee better quality. In fact, 27% of participants admitted to buying high-end labels under the assumption of superior quality. Additionally, one in three individuals perceives wine etiquette as ‘snobbish’.

Chateaux Noir aims to debunk these notions. Launched nationwide, this event pits Lidl against renowned drinks brands, intending to demonstrate that quality wine doesn’t necessarily come with a hefty price tag. For a mere £5, attendees can take part in a unique wine tasting experience, sampling a diverse range of top wines.

As part of the event, attendees will be plunged into complete darkness, taking part in an array of blind tasting sessions. These sessions are meticulously organised and presented by Lidl’s in-house Master of Wine, Richard Bampfield.

Many people operate under the belief that expensive labels signify better quality. The study revealed that nearly 44% are inclined to spend more on wine during the festive season, either when hosting or presenting someone with a gift. Furthermore, 35% of these individuals admitted to doing so with the aim of impressing their guests.

Under Richard’s guidance, Chateaux Noir also endeavours to assist shoppers in discovering their preferred wine flavour. A significant 23% confessed to finding the task of buying wine rather daunting, primarily due to the overwhelming variety available. A staggering 51% felt that there were simply too many options to choose from. Additionally, 46% were unsure about distinguishing a good bottle of wine from a subpar one.

Chateaux Noir is not just about wine tasting; it’s an educational experience. With 49% of individuals choosing wines based on their origin and 18% swayed by the label design, the event seeks to broaden horizons and encourage attendees to trust their palates.

The revamped tasting programme promises an unforgettable experience. Attendees will initially traverse a ‘palate cleansing tunnel’ before entering a pitch-black tasting room. Here, they will be served by waiters equipped with night-vision goggles. Following the tasting, a grand reveal awaits in the final room.

As Christmas approaches, Chateaux Noir is urging wine enthusiasts to set aside conventional norms. The event seeks to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy wine. If it appeals to your taste buds, that’s all that truly matters. Interestingly, a considerable number of individuals are already willing to disregard traditional wine etiquettes.

The Chateaux Noir wine tasting event series will begin its journey at Leake Street Waterloo in London on Friday 10th and Saturday 11th November 2023. Following the London engagement, the event will then make its way to Argyle Street Arches in Glasgow, scheduled for the 17th and 18th of November. Concluding its tour, Chateaux Noir will set its final stage at West Bay at the Titanic Hotel in Liverpool on the 24th and 25th of November. Tickets are just £5 plus a £1.13p booking fee, with all proceeds going to the NSPCC – on sale at Guests must be 18+ to attend.

The aforementioned research was carried out by One Poll, surveying 2,000 adults who consume wine, between 19th and 25th September 2023.