Matthew Clark has increased its wine portfolio by almost 20% in the last year, in a specific attempt to target the upper tiers of the on-trade.
Imbibe has learned that 250 wines have been added to the portfolio in the last year; 45 of them since last autumn when Matthew Clark was bought by Conviviality Retail Plc for £200m. The merchant now has 1,500 wines on its books.
‘Having a bigger selection is letting us go to more venues – we’re adding accounts at the top end,’ Matthew Clark’s wine controller, Laurie Davis told Imbibe.
Venues that have come on board recently include the Renaissance Hotel at St Pancras station, The London Edition and, most recently, the M Restaurants group of deluxe steak-houses. ‘It’s started to snowball,’ said Davis.
Currently, Matthew Clark works with around 18,000 outlets countrywide, many of them at the less wine-specialised end of the market.
‘Increasing the upper end is always the goal,’ says Davis. ‘But we have to be very sure that we still look after our existing customers as well.’
We spoke to Davis at Matthew Clark's portfolio tasting at Tobacco Dock yesterday – here are our top picks from the merchant's new additions.