09 August, 2007

Richard Yates

Corks Out

Chester & Stockton



If you had an extra hour in the day what would you do with it?

I'd learn better Spanish. I love the language and I worked for 16 years for a Chilean company and I still didn't manage to improve it.

Your shop is burning down - what three things do you grab as you leg it?

First thing, my lovely wife and partner, Ruth; next my laptop and, rather than go for a bottle of wine, I'd take the CCTV video to find out who did it.

If you could change one thing about the drinks industry what would it be?

I'd prevent irresponsible advertising of alcohol to the youth market, fuelling public outcry and thus encouraging government

decisions to take carte blanche action on all aspects of our industry rather than only targeting the specific culprits.

What alcoholic drink do you most resemble?

A well-rounded port of matured age, mellow, slightly sophisticated and fun after dark.

What's the best age to be?

Well, I'm 52, so 53 sounds good. Life just gets better and better.

What retailer do you most admire?

Alan Goadby and his family at Upton-upon-Severn Wines for still smiling through hell and high water. I do admire

them as retailers as well, but they have been caught in floods twice now and they are still there doing a great job.

What one thing or person is guaranteed to make your blood boil?

It's quite simple. Sales and marketing departments that clearly have no understanding of the needs of the independent wine merchant.

What's your philosophy?

In life, I think you should treat people in the way you expect to be treated yourself. In business you should exercise honesty, quality, value and good service.

What's the best and worst thing about Warrington?

The best thing is its an up-and-coming area, particularly on the outskirts and the worst thing is trying to get in and out of it, because the traffic is so bad.

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English wine: a happy harvest for Christmas

All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
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