Celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli is launching an eponymous wine range into the UK on and off-trades, The Grocer has learned.

The brand will launch initially with a merlot, a semillon and a rosé in bottles as well as in red and white bag-in-box wines. The range is aimed at everyday drinking and Novelli hopes his endorsement will encourage consumers to try new styles and varietals.

A range of cooking wines to be sold in three-litre boxes is also in the pipeline.

A core element of the brand will be food matching, with Novelli's suggestions on back labels and promotional material. Novelli is also looking at the possibility of a tie-up between the wines and his Findus frozen food range. "I've always been as passionate about wine as I am about food," said Novelli. "I enjoy drinking wine on its own, but naturally as a chef my real interest lies in the fact that if you serve the right wine with the right food you can turn a good meal into a truly great one."

A new website, www.novelliwine.co.uk, is also part of the chef's move into the drinks arena and offers a range of wines from small independent producers, which Novelli will match to his own dishes.

"I've learnt over the years that wonderful wines don't just come in bottles with well-known labels," he said. "There are very many small producers out there who put the same dedication into producing their wines as

the grandest big-name Chateaux."