Morrisons is finally joining the other major supermarkets in launching its own wine range, to address consumer concerns it lacked wine knowledge.

The retailer had historically been reluctant to put its name to an own-label wine range, claiming supermarket-branded wines were synonymous with "cheapest on display and price fighting", which made it difficult to maintain quality, said Morrisons' Master of Wine Arabella Woodrow.

However, customer research commissioned earlier this year revealed that shoppers see own-label as a hallmark of expertise, prompting Woodrow's buying team to launch the 65-strong range, which is rolling out now.

The retailer's 650-wine cellar has not grown with the launch. Instead, the buying team "made room" by incorporating labels that were already exclusive to Morrisons or removing similar lines. Woodrow stressed that the launch would not hit sales of existing wine brands.

"The brands have a ­different role, and want strong promotional support. We don't propose doing deep promotions on our new Morrisons brand."

The line-up is priced from just over £3 to just under £20 for sparkling wine and Champagne. It is categorised within three pricing tiers that are differentiated with a white branded strip for everyday, black strip for medium-tier and gold for premium.

Its USP is wines that are "food-friendly", which ties in with the retailer's Market Street concept, and reflects the types of wine Morrisons' customers liked to drink, said Woodrow.

Not only was this more appropriate in the current economic climate when it is important to encourage moderate drinking, but because the right wine can make food taste better, she added.

In the past, Morrisons has introduced a limited number of wines under its premium 'The Best' own-label portfolio, but this is the first time it has launched a range throughout all price tiers, Woodrow explained.

The design of 'The Best' wines has been revamped to make the varietal or name stand out more clearly and look more attractive.