Sainsbury's is almost ­doubling the size of its fine wine fixture and also launching 12 new Taste the Difference variants, claiming that premium own-­label wine has "never been so popular".

On the fine wine shelf, 15 new labels will roll out next week with an emphasis on Old World French and Italian wines, which were growing in popularity again, according to senior wine buyer Julian Dyer. The fine wine section of the aisle would be reorganised at the beginning of 2011, he added, but declined to give any further details.

The new variants would appeal to the increasing number of consumers who were looking for a wider range of "restaurant list trade-up options" for at-home drinking occasions, said fine wine buyer Michelle Smith.

Meanwhile, in the Taste the Difference portfolio, Sainsbury's last week rolled out 21 new TTD beers, ­spirits and wines, of which 12 are wines. It follows the September relaunch of its entire TTD portfolio.

The TTD wines are now ­"dual-branded" with the supplier's name on front-of-pack, along with the winemaker's signature. Previously, suppliers were named on the back-of-pack, or not at all, said Dyer.

"For the producer it gives them distribution, prestige and gets their name to a much wider audience," said Dyer. "The market's maturing wine customers are looking for more information on the heritage and provenance of their ­product."

Sainsbury's range of extensions comes as Tesco launched its first Finest beer and cider range [The Grocer, 9 October] and The Grocer revealed wine promotions at Asda had fallen by 25% over the past year [Assosia]. Sainsbury's wine ­promotions increased 19% over the ­period and it was the only retailer to increase the number of its 3-for-£10 deals on wine.

However, it ditched 3-for-£10 deals eight months ago, which hadn't been reflected in the figures, insisted Dyer.

"We did ramp them up 18 months ago and had a strong 3-for-£10 offer because we had to be competitive. We're a premium wine retailer, but also a scale retailer."