Asda is introducing in-store touchscreen wine selectors to help demystify the category for shoppers.

The retailer said the freestanding units would be trialled in the wine aisles of its Shef­field and Harrogate stores this week, with a national roll-out planned for autumn should they prove successful.

The selectors would "cut through the wine world jargon" and use criteria like price, grape and country to help consumers who struggle to make an informed purchasing decision, said Asda category director of BWS, Adrian McKeon.

"Industry-wide research and customer feedback tell us how shoppers want to interact more with the category and, as Asda continues to look for ways of helping shoppers and meeting customer demand, the wine selector is the perfect solution," said McKeon.

The units would be "completely impartial" in terms of selecting Asda's own-label range over brands, he added.

The move comes as Sainsbury's, which trialled electronic wine selectors in 2002 before removing them just a year later, begins overhauling the layout of its own wine aisles in a similar bid to simplify the category for consumers.

Sainsbury's BWS category manager, Justin James, claimed the new layout would fulfill the same service as Asda's selectors by appealing to shoppers with varying knowledge of wine.

"We know some customers will want a less impersonal way of finding out about wine, have a fear of IT and would rather just pick up a bottle or speak to one of our colleagues for advice," said James.

Tesco began trialling its own in-store touchscreen service called Virtual Wine Advisors in March with a national roll-out planned for later this year.

However, Steve Barton, director of First Cape owner Brand Phoenix, said the rushed nature of supermarket shopping meant shoppers did not have time to browse on an electronic selector.

"It's been tried and tested in Sainsbury's and overseas, but never really took off," he said. "It's a very expensive piece of kit and needs a lot of supplier interaction."