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Wednesday, 24 March 2021

Tesco's SMS Sommelier

An on-demand sommelier service from Tesco

Fronted by Helen McGinn, Tesco have launched an SMS-based sommelier service - I asked a bunch of wine people what they thought of the idea and you can see the responses in this twitter thread:

Tom Lewis on Twitter: "Any thoughts on this one: Wine matcher: @winematcher ? Sommelier: @donalde ? Techie: @thirstforwine ? E-commerce: @oldparn ? Marketers: @robertjoseph @mme_hammond ? Journo: @FelicityCarter ?" / Twitter

The press release reads:

Tesco is to give wine lovers access to tailored tips from top sommeliers with on-demand SMS recommendation service

Running from 18 March–16 April, the Tesco Sommelier Messaging Service will deliver bespoke bottle recommendations from leading restaurant sommeliers by text, to help the nation elevate their evenings in with exceptional wines and perfect pairings from Tesco.

From bold and spicy to crisp and aromatic, deliciously dry to sumptuously sweet – you’ll find a wine for every palate, food, mood and occasion at Tesco. With so many choices, it can be hard to decide between the wide range of styles, grapes and regions available, but help is at hand with the launch of the Tesco Sommelier Messaging Service (SMS).

Running from 12pm-7pm daily, from 18 March – 16 April 2021, the on-demand text service will give people access to personal wine recommendations based on their individual tastes, budget and menu.

Following three short initial questions, a Tesco wine recommendation will be delivered in real time to their device from someone on the expert SMS panel, which is headed up by TV presenter and wine expert Helen McGinn, supported by 20 sommeliers and wine waiters from restaurants across the UK.

There is no replacement for the restaurant experience and receiving personal guidance from the in-house sommelier. Until that can be enjoyed again, Tesco SMS will give wine-drinkers access to those experts remotely, to help them make the most of the brilliant bottles in reach – but as of yet, undiscovered – on their weekly shop.

Whether it’s a pasta-friendly red for a favourite quick supper, or something exceptional for a special Easter feast – Tesco SMS will make it easy to choose a winning wine to match.

By using Tesco SMS, people will also be helping to support all those who make our evenings out special, as for every wine recommendation delivered, Tesco will donate £1 to Hospitality Action, the industry’s charity.


To request a wine recommendation, simply text “WINE” to 82228 and follow the steps when prompted. 

A personalised answer will usually be delivered within 30 minutes:

Step 1: Text “WINE” to 82228

Step 2: Answer the questions when prompted, sharing information about your usual wine preferences and what you’re planning to cook/eat

Step 3: Your sommelier will review the information submitted and send back wine recommendations tailored to you.

For more information visit: https://realfood.tesco.com/curatedlist/wine-pairing-for-your-favourite-meals.html


Texts to this service are charged at the Standard Network Message Rate as you have agreed with your network provider, including the single initial text to the non-premium 82228 number

Some network providers charge additional fees to text short codes.

If you would prefer you can also use the service by texting the long form number - simply text WINE to 07984445993

Standard network rate messages apply.

One charge only will be billed per request, this will be at your standard network rate.

Requests to Tesco SMS are answered by real people and as such, responses will be slower at busy times and the service may be subject to limits.

Tesco will donate £1 for every completed SMS delivery (ie. the final text in the sequence), during the operational hours of the service.

You must be aged 18+ to use the service

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