Following more than eighteen months of blood (Harry the carpenter), sweat (me) and tears (not telling) our new Felixstowe wine-boutique is open for business as intended.
This intention of which I speak is a reference to my observations about the changes that have occurred in drinking habits over recent years. As taxes increase steadily, arguably misinformed do-gooders attempt to put us off drinking alcohol and a host of other assorted negative influences, people are changing the way they drink. Access to information about better products and the nascent information transparency provided by the likes of Google and Vivino and others make it increasingly important for wine sellers to offer great value. Trying to sell a wine that can be seen to be available more cheaply elsewhere is not only difficult but actually a bit silly.
Products with a story are a much better bet. Provided of course it is a true story.
Back to the shop. The old one did well and we enjoyed the support we got from the people of Felixstowe; for which we thank you. But it needed to grow. And to do so meant changing the formula a bit. To make it more accessible to wine lovers. And beer lovers too of whom there are a great number.
In the new incarnation opposite the old one and next to the old Post Office we are still emphatically a shop. And with no price increases accompanying the move. But we are also able now to sell drinks for consumption on the premises. And to do this well we have taken note of changing drinking habits.
So here’s the deal. Use the new shop exactly as you did the old one except now from Wednesday to Saturday between 11am and 9pm. We will never be holding “events” during these hours so you will always be welcome. And Imbibers (our members club) enjoy the same deals as before.
But if you fancy using the shop as bar you now can. Take a bottle of wine or bottle/can of beer from the shelf, present it to a member of staff as a drink-in purchase and they will, if appropriate, swap it for a cold one from our new walk-in fridge with an ice bucket, bring out some superb glassware and charge you for the bottle plus a supplement of £7 for any wine and £1.50 for a small beer up to 501ml (£2.50 for larger formats of beer).
This £7 is an important point. It applies to all wines regardless of price which means that a modest bottle of “value” wine might cost you £15-16 to drink in while a really posh bottle of, say Sancerre, Bordeaux or Rioja, will cost you perhaps £22-23.
We also have around 30 wines by-the-glass preserved in between pours by a state-of-the-art system ranging from £3.60 to £12.00 per 175ml glass. Tasting packages that can be ordered at any time will be available as soon as the delayed special glasses arrive (grrr).
We have two beer taps. One is Visor, our very own 5% unpasteurised Pilsner which you are going to love served in branded glasses by the pint or third. The other will rate between posher, harder-to-find beers – the first keg on is Gulden Draak, a 10.5% Belgian dark ale. By the third only…..
Sherries and Ports and over 80 packaged beers also available. And some really nice soft drinks. And coca-cola, our sole nod to Big Brand.
Oh and several Gins of course including Carpenter’s from Ipswich.
No food as such but we have some incredibly good individually packaged snacks with which to tempt you. The Camembert Popcorn has to be tried with a French red.
Tuesdays are available for private or corporate bookings at a very reasonable cost. Enquire.
We are very proud of our new wine-boutique and look forward to seeing you soon.