On the red carpet

winemerchantlogo12

Don’t usually do interviews but yesterday gave one to Graham Holter of the excellent Wine Merchant Magazine. This august journal is read closely by nearly all independent Wine Merchants in Britain and is specifically written with them in mind.

Having worked in this industry for many years and despite keeping most of it at arm’s length these days, I am aware that we do things differently to the other guys.

Sometimes we take this for granted though. Its just what we do. But many of our retail customers will be unaware of just how differently we work. All they see is decent wine offered locally and unless they regularly roam other Merchants around the country they won’t perhaps see the contrast. It often takes a visiting-Felixstowe wine buff who habitually trawls whichever Merchant is handy to come in and be blown away by the rarity and interestingness of our products.

Most “independents” aren’t. Independent that is. They buy all their wine from bigger Merchants. We even supply some and would like to supply more. Some have even grouped together to ship jointly – amusingly, they call themselves the Vindependents.

Nineteen of the wineries with whom we work are exclusive to us and a further five supply just a single other small importer. We have bothered to travel to find them (albeit sometimes a show in London does the trick). We have regularly sent large sums of money abroad to sure-they-must-exist-we’ve-tasted-the-samples wineries to pay in advance for wines that would otherwise remain unavailable in the UK. We regularly take chances on interesting and unusual styles for which no pre-existing demand is identifiable.

And okay, we do use an agent or two for Australia, South Africa and New Zealand but only because we don’t have the budget to do the required travel yet. And we really don’t major on these wines.

Graham has intimate knowledge of a great many of the UK’s smaller Merchants and has just sent me a message including;

…….it’s great to come away from one of these visits thinking that you’ve been discussing a business that’s totally unique. I think the approach to the wine range is so clever and I’m really interested to see how things evolve in the next few years……

Cheers Graham. And to the rest of you; thanks for supporting someone doing it differently.

Advertisements

winefantastic

Winefantastic was created in 2000 to import and distribute interesting wines. We have established strong links with producers all over the world and are proud to offer their wines. We also part-own Beerfantastic which brews beer.

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s