TRADE FRETS OVER BREXIT CHAOS

We contacted a range of independent merchants, as well as some suppliers, and asked them how worried they are, on a scale of 1 to 10, about European wine imports after Brexit comes into effect. They also outlined the scale of the problem, and what indies should be doing to prepare.

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merchant profile: WHITEBRIDGE WINES

Staffordshire turned out to be the ideal location for Francis Peel, who arrived at Whitebridge Wines via Chichester and Oxford. The business operates from a large warehouse on an old industrial estate, and counts surgeons and parish priests among its core customers.

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comings & GOINGS

Two more restaurants decide the time is right to open specialist wine shops, and a newcomer in Cardiff dreams of creating an urban winery in the Welsh capital.

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bright ideas

Parish Wines taps into Walthamstow’s creative culture by inviting locals to create Spotify playlists that can be played in-store.

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the burning question

With almost no tastings available to get to, how exactly are independent merchants managing to find new and interesting wines to offer their customers? Four retailers explain how they’ve managed it.

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RISING STARS

Every month we invite indies to nominate someone in their company who’s making a real difference to their business. They win something special from Pol Roger Portfolio. Read all about Sarah Helliwell, whose wine knowledge and calmness under fire has made her an invaluable member of the Stony Street House team in Frome.

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just williams

The lexicon of wine evolves all the time as producers find new ways to enthuse, entertain and even fool us. David Williams suggests some useful updates for anyone considering putting together a modern winemaking phrasebook.

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focus on chile

David Williams makes some suggestions for independent wine merchants who are looking to add some extra spice to their Chilean selection.

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rathfinny releases in 2020

From the sunniest corner of mainland Britain, the latest releases from this ambitious producer are more than living up to their fanfare. Here’s what to expect from the Blanc de Blancs 2016, Classic Cuvée 2016, Blanc de Noirs 2016 and Rosé 2017.

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win £200 of Cellardine equipment

Win a Wake Up Wine decanter, a CaddyO bottle chiller, ChillCore 3 in 1 and a Rouge O2 wine breather worth just under £200 at retail prices in our competition in association with CellarDine.

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tried and tested

Eight wines that caught our eye in August, ranging from a life-changing Fino to an everyday rosé which ticks more than its fair share of boxes for just £9.99.

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Wine Merchant Top 100 results

Read our supplier-by-supplier breakdown of this year’s winners – not just the wines that made our Top 100, but those that were highly commended by the judges, all of whom are independent wine merchants.

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independent voices

For Daniel Grigg of Museum Wines in Dorset, natural wines have their place – just not a place on his list. That’s because, he argues, the wine that customers finally get to open after its long journey through the supply chain may bear no relation to what he thought he was selling them.

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John Gauntley Tribute

Gauntleys of Nottingham’s iconoclastic approach to its range, and its fervent devotion to its producers, reflects the personality of its former boss, who has died of cancer aged 56. But John Gauntley will be missed as much for his humour, encouragement and enthusiasm as he will for his style of buying.

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BEST OF HUNGARY TASTING

Our Zoom tasting with Best of Hungary gave a flavour of the quality and diversity of a winemaking nation often touted as the next big thing.

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digital Masterclass

Win £800 to spend on a meal for your team with a digital marketing campaign for Aster Crianza. We’re looking for ideas to inspire you from wine merchants across the globe and we’ve found a good one in New York City, involving Bob Dylan. Don’t have a Bob Dylan to hand? A Leo Sayer would work just as well.

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