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“Margot,” the grocery store's new wine bot, even lets you search food and wine pairings by emoji.

Mike Pomranz
January 31, 2018

British supermarket chains are extremely competitive over their wine selections – and not just when it comes to price either. All the major chains have their own private labels or exclusive selections, and they pride themselves anytime these unique offerings land awards at wine competitions. But now, the German-based chain Lidl has unleashed a new weapon in this wine war: Her name is “Margot,” and she’s a wine-recommending Facebook Messenger chatbot.

Understanding that a wine selection is only as good as a customer’s appreciation of it, Lidl UK has created a new, friendly, online tool to help direct customers towards the perfect wine for them. Available through the Lidl UK’s Facebook page under the “Send Message” button, the Margot wine bot gives users the option of choosing wines either by food pairing or through more common filters like country, region, grape, color, and price. The bot also offers up a wine quiz.

But sticking to Margot’s practical applications, the food pairing option allows users to not only ask questions in English, but also in emoji form. A chicken leg emoji brings up the answer “Chardonnay is a sure win for chicken” and a recommendation for a Spanish take on the white that sells for under $8. The ice cream emoji leads to a recommendation of “fortified wines on the side or poured over the top!” Meanwhile, the beer emoji is sadly – but rightly — met with nothing.

As far as the “find a wine” feature goes, the results were mixed. The question, “What Barolos do you have?” returned no results; however, simply typing in the word “Barolo” does show that the store offers one. And though the query “Wines under £6” resulted in the recommendation of a Sauvignon Blanc, simply asking the bot for a “Sauvignon Black” returned no results whatsoever. In the end, though the concept is cool, Margot still needs a bit of tweaking. She was only launched today, so maybe she’s still working out the kinks.

Regardless, the simple attempt to give wine recs through Facebook is an interesting one, and something that is sure to get Lidl plenty of press. “At Lidl we have built a reputation for providing fantastic quality wines at highly competitive prices for our customers,” said Alex Murray, digital director at Lidl UK. “Margot will ensure choosing the right wine is never a daunting process, and we hope this service – along with the existing in-store and online information we already provide – encourages customers to discover the perfect wine from our curated range.” Now if only she could chat with you about life while you’re drinking wine.