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Published:  23 July, 2008

Exclusive - By Tim Atkin

The Destination Wine Company (DWC), the 15-month-old joint-venture between Oddbins and Sainsbury's, is to cease trading in the next few weeks, once the legal formalities have been completed. The Taste for Wine brand will be retained, however, and integrated into Sainsbury's stores from 26 May. Harpers understands that Oddbins will continue to supply wines to Taste for Wine, at least for the time being. Our name and logo will still be part of the branding,' Oddbins' PR manager Karen Wise commented, and we will continue as a supplier. But that will come up for review in six months' time.' Allan Cheesman, director of wine at Sainsbury's, said that the decision had been taken in the light of the closure of the DWC joint-venture with Carlton TV in late 2001 and the takeover of Oddbins by Castel. We have decided that we no longer need a complex joint-venture to support the business and will be integrating with our direct marketing proposition under Alan Shepherd.' The existing DWC team, under MD Shaun Harvey, will be retained while a full review of the business is carried out over the summer,' according to Cheesman. JS is committed to remaining in the direct-to-consumer wine market and is keen to build on the successful business that has been established to date.' The news comes only a few months after both parties had agreed to a development plan for the DWC, with very clear targets. Indeed, one insider told Harpers the business was meeting those targets. Wise insisted that this was a joint decision, however, rather than one prompted by one of the parties. Sainsbury's felt it didn't need a complicated joint-venture offering now that it has lost its relationship with Carlton, and we want to focus on the direct side of our business, through Oddbins Direct and'