reader survey 2021: HAVE YOUR SAY NOW

Please take 10 minutes to take part in the biggest survey of the UK independent trade. As well as helping us form a detailed picture of the state of play in the sector after a year that could shape our industry for many years to come, you could win one of five Coravins, donated by our partner Hatch Mansfield.

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INDEPENDENT VIRTUAL TRADE TASTING RETURNS

There are no physical trade tastings on the agenda but our virtual event, in partnership with Condor Wines, is the next best thing. Browse wines from eight indie-friendly wine suppliers and select samples that will be sent to you in one convenient delivery. Indies only, subject to Ts & Cs. Register here.

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merchant profile: pierre hourlier wines

Champagne native Pierre Hourlier has made a career selling French wines from his base in Derbyshire. Now he and son Jean-Pierre have their own bricks-and-mortar premises, located in the salubrious surroundings of Melbourne Hall. Nigel Huddleston pays a visit

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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 Louise Savage, who has met Status Quo and the queen as part of her work at Richardsons of Whitehaven – but most importantly has helped bring the business into the digital age.

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critic’s choice: TANNERS

Joanna Simon sings the praises of one of our largest independent merchants which, despite its scale, has always retained its family feel.

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wine shipping after brexit

VI-1s may be on hold, but there’s still a lot to take on board for any wine merchant planning to do business with wine exporters in the European Union after January 1. Chris Porter of Kukla Beverage Logistics explains the new process

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Wine Merchant Top 100 supplement

We mailed out our annual Top 100 winners supplement in October. Here’s the digital version, which you can read online in page-turning PDF glory.

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comings & GOINGS

New faces at Vino Vero in Essex, expansion for the Oxford Wine Co and The Old Garage, relocation for DBM in Bristol and a new bottle shop in Battle.

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bright ideas

How Worthing’s Bottle & Jug Department has expanded its merchandise range into glassware.

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the burning question

How easy is it to attract younger consumers to the wine category? We asked four independent merchants for their opinions and suggestions.

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Wines of Hungary through the eyes of the sommelier

Norbert Kovács, third-place winner at the 2018 Balkan Sommelier Challenge, has been working in the hospitality industry since he was 20 and since 2012, he has been actively involved in wines as well. Read his assessment of the modern Hungarian winemaking scene here.

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just williams

In recent decades, Europe’s wine co-operatives have been dismissed as backward as buyers fixate on individual growers. But, says David Williams, there is plenty to admire in the way these collectives emerged out of times of crisis, and the wines they produce are by no means as unfashionable as some people assume.

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NEW COMPLICATIONS FOR ORGANIC IMPORTS

Importers of organic wine from the EU will face an extra layer of red tape thanks to Brexit.

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A malt whisky with your name on the label

Borders Distillery is rewarding its loyal independent customers by letting them earn their own free cask of single malt while making purchases from its spirits range.

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zooming in on tannat

Nowhere is this beguiling variety more at home than in south west France, where it produces wines that aren’t simply tannic and alcoholic, but full of fruit, freshness and balance. At our Plaimont online tasting, we discovered its many facets.

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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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