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What’s the print run of The Wine Merchant?
Currently 1,200 copies. These are mailed out to the owners of all 982 specialist independent wine shops in the UK, as well as to selected importers, wholesalers and friendly marketing people. We also have a small number of subscribers who don’t quite fit into these categories. Circulation numbers gradually increase as the indie market grows.
How do you define a specialist independent wine merchant?
For us, it’s a business that isn’t part of a large chain (15 shops is our arbitrary maximum), isn’t owned by a big corporation with lots of other strings to its bow, and which has a truly interesting wine range. Generally speaking they’ll be buying their wines from a specialist importer, or in many cases directly importing the wines themselves. They’re highly unlikely to be buying from a cash and carry.
Crucially, they need to have a bricks-and-mortar shop, too, even if conventional retail isn’t the main element of their business.
Why does your paper smell so nice?
Apparently it’s the coating rather than the ink or the actual paper. Our printer (Eastprint) has all kinds of green credentials including FSC certification and ISO14001 accreditation for environmental management. The magazine, and the wrapper it comes in, can both be recycled.
How do you select the businesses you feature in the Merchant Profile section?
We try to ensure we write about a wide range of businesses, in different parts of the country. The point is to illustrate just how many ways there are to be an independent wine merchant. If you’d like to nominate yourself, or any indie wine retailer, we’re always open to suggestions.
How do you choose your Dogs of the Month?
We sift through the nominations and place your pooches in an orderly queue. The rules are simple: candidates must be dogs, not (for example) people dressed as dogs, and they must work in a wine shop. We also need a nice clear picture. You’d be surprised how often these quite simple guidelines are misunderstood or wilfully ignored.
I’m interested in independent wine merchants. Please can you send me a complete list of their names and addresses?
How can I submit wines for your Tried & Tested section of the magazine?
We’re always happy to receive samples, provided that the wine is aimed at the independent trade and ideally already represented by a UK-based importer. We can’t guarantee a review but we always approach every wine with an open mind and include our favourite eight in the magazine each month. If the wine has listings in supermarkets or a chain like Majestic, or is likely to have that kind of distribution any time soon, we can’t write about it.
When’s your deadline?
We like to have all ad copy signed off by the 20th of the month preceding publication. We try to be flexible, but that’s the aim. All of our files are sent to the printers on the last day of the month.
Why don’t you publish an issue in December?
Our publication date is the 15th of the month, and it’s unrealistic to expect wine merchants to read a trade magazine, or respond to any ads or sponsored content, on December 15. So we take a Christmas break and get back to normal in January.
How can I subscribe to the digital edition?
You don’t need to. Anyone can access the digital edition (and all recent digital editions) via the website. There’s no registration required. We announce each new issue via Twitter (@WineMerchantMag) and if you log on to the website you’ll always see the current edition on the home page.
Can you please publish a crossword?
Yes, we will get around to this eventually. Meanwhile, there are anagrams to enjoy, with big prizes.
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It was a real pleasure meeting Sarah Dodd from @herculeswine last month, and of course her lovely dog Mia. Read her story here – the latest in our series of merchant profiles, illustrating just how many ways there are to run an independent wine business.