This actually needs a sub heading too:
Independent Wine Merchants Vs The Supermarkets & ONLINE sales what’s the difference?
Now this is purely my own opinion and not sponsored or paid for in any way shape or form. Its about me and my experiences.
In fact I was just in the middle of writing something completely different, but then today is a bank holiday in the UK and the sun is shining, so after getting home about 3:30pm the sun is beaming, (its 26c WOW!) decided to sit in the garden with a bottle of vino and do some writing.
I woke early this morning and spent 2 hours rearranging my wines racks, Barolo, Super Tuscans, Brunello, Bordeaux …. even USA and of course my normal everyday wines. I am telling you this as I put a couple of bottles in the fridge (extra bottles I hasten to add as I usually like at least a dozen whites, a token rosé (actually this summer drank some great Rosé and have started a new Brosé Bromance!) oh of course some Fizz too)
So this morning I put this bottle in the fridge
This wine is South African, Vondeling 2015 “Babiana” a little “off piste” for me. It is made up of 60% Chenin Blanc, 18% Grenache Blanc, 16% Viognier & 6% Chardonnay and I would never have bought this in a million years unless…… Under advice from one of my independent wine merchants who said this is an absolute must for you! Do you know what… OF COURSE they were right – why because they know their product! I mean they REALLY KNOW their products. This is an absolute delight!
Simple tasting notes…. Its blooming marvelous wine, pears, peaches, honey notes, tropical fruit…. then its spicey notes, a slight hit of white hit pepper mid palate. Although oaked it is wonderfully integrated then a super dry finish. £13.50, €14.85 or $17.50. You could easily have spent 2 or 3 times this price and not had such a well made and delicious wine.
My point is simple….ADVICE ADVICE ADVICE
All you have to do is ask! Don’t walk in to an independent wine merchant and when they ask you if you need any help…… respond with… I’m a wino I know wine I’m ok thanks! I used to do this all the time…… I knew what I wanted, well I thought I did. Because we never will know all of the worlds wine delights. Trust me I’m 45 years old an I have tasted very few of the worlds wines. By very few I mean 1000’s! and that’s my point… The wine world is enormous…. these guys know their hidden gems.
Don’t feel intimidated, know your budget, stick to it! The world is full of fabulous wines and these guys have them at the price you want to spend.
LEAVE YOUR COMFORT ZONE AND ASK….
SO WHAT DO I ASK???
SIMPLE… REALLY SIMPLE….
QUESTION TO MERCHANT:-
WHAT DO YOU HAVE (AT THIS PRICE RANGE… BE SPECIFIC ) SOMETHING THAT IS REALLY FABULOUS. Oh and by the way I generally like wines like this….. and tell them.
Now I’m not asking you to spend fortunes either, just checked out some of my local wine merchants and on average they have more than 80 bottles each under £10, €11 or $13 and start from £6, €6.60 or $7.75!
Now I know you can go to supermarkets and buy great wines too. I did at the weekend, especially when they hold promotions like 25% off any 6 wines! I know they have lots of promotions all the time to entice you in. However you will not find a gem like the Vondeling or indeed a super Gamay Noir 2015 “Jean” I bought this week for £9.99! €10.99 or $12.85 from another independent.
This is a super drinking summer red from Jeon Loron. You can drink slightly chilled (or not.. I didn’t) Its French, Its from Beaujolais! Yes BEAUJOLIAS but not like the Nouveaux we have all tasted its a fresh & bright its blackberry, blueberry delight yet with mineral undertones. Again wouldn’t have given this a glance ………unless I had been asked taste this…. What do you think? Easy SELL! WRAP IT! Tasting different wines is always your best way of expanding your wine knowledge. Although having said this you will not be able to taste everything these guys are selling. We cannot expect them to have every bottle open that they sell.
So I also love the big guys in the market place, that also can offer some great value too. But generally I use these guys for the special bottles. There are plenty and google, wherever you are in the world will be your friend. I believe there are 700 independent wine merchants in the UK alone. Whenever I visit a new town or city I always check out the indies!!
Now I could have spouted off loads of names here about who is who and who is supplying what wines… but actually it’s not my point. My point is to expand your wine horizons, drink something within your budget you have never heard of. Even from a country that you didn’t even know made wine..
The key to this is that you don’t think that the wine merchant is too stuffy,
- You are the customer
- You know the kind of wines you like
- Definitely know your budget. Seriously stick to it.
- Overall you need to say you LOVE GREAT WINE!! I’m not Joking… really I’m not. These independent wine merchants are also very passionate about wine. They LOVE GREAT WINE TOO. Would you believe it they actually want to share it!
Would be great to hear what world wide experiences that you have with the local independent wine merchants,
If you love wine, dedicate some time, visit these guys and expand your world of wine