Do you judge a bottle by its cover? Lidl is announcing the first ever ‘Wine Tasting in the Dark’ pop-up from a UK retailer – and it’s coming to Manchester!

Named Lidl Chateaux Noir, the event will help guests to identify top quality wine in the run up to Christmas – even when immersed in total darkness.

It comes as new research by the supermarket reveals wine lovers in Manchester and the surrounding area are relying on what the bottle looks like, rather than focusing on what’s inside – a third (29%) will choose their wine based on a luxury or premium label, and nationally, a third (35%) will choose their wine based on the design of the bottle.

What’s more, nearly half (48%) of those in the Manchester area say they don’t know what makes a wine ‘good quality’.

The confusion around wine quality means customers are often paying over the odds to get a good quality bottle of wine. Almost a third (29%) think you have to spend at least £9 for a good quality bottle of wine, while 34% would spend a whopping £13 or more for a bottle of wine for a Christmas party or festive social occasion.

By offering guests the chance to taste wine in the dark – served by night-vision goggle clad waiters –  Lidl believes wine lovers can learn to identify real quality wine, without making the mistake of choosing their wines solely based on bottle design, labels or price.

Visitors to Lidl Chateaux Noir will start in the ‘Discombobulation Chamber’ – a candy cane striped space which throws off their senses with clever tricks of scale. Guests will then move through to the ‘Cellar Noir’ where they will be the first to experience a blind wine tasting journey hosted by Lidl’s Master of Wine Richard Bampfield, who will guide their palates through eight exquisite glasses of wine.

Once guests have finished their tasting, they will then be guided into the Salle de Noel – a festive wonderland decked out with real Christmas trees, mince pies, and a cheeseboard of snacks.

Richard Bampfield Master of Wine said: “At Lidl Chateaux Noir, we want to encourage visitors to see if they can identify a wine’s quality in a completely new setting – using darkness to dispel common prejudices that come with buying wine. This is a unique opportunity to forget everything you thought you knew about wine and come and challenge your senses with us.”

Lidl Chateaux Noir will open its doors on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th November at 46 Great Titchfield Street, Soho, London – before travelling to the Deansgate Underground Arches, Manchester on 16th and 17th November, and Argyle Street Arches, Glasgow on 23rd and 24th November.

Tickets to the event cost £4 plus an extra 90p booking fee, with all proceeds going to the NSPCC to help keep children in the UK safe.

Attendees must have booked their slot and registered via EventBrite in order to gain admission.


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