the forum

29 June, 2007

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e-mail:


Q Where's the best place to go in Europe for a really good wine-themed holiday?

A I don't think you can beat the Loire. Stunning châteaux, lovely scenery and the best red and white wines in France. Start in the west with Muscadet and wend your way to Central Vineyards.

Mary, Cambs

A Jerez is terrific. A cool fino in the baking south of Spain is one of the wine trade's most glorious experiences and if you can take the occasional shelter in a bodega w ith some local jamon and almonds, you're in heaven.

Bill, London

A A boat trip up the Douro is surely the most spectacular way of enjoying wine country anywhere in the world. Just remember to take some beers with you - port is not the most advisable of quenchers on a hot day .

Jack, Cumbria

Q Would Majestic's by-the-case format work for an average independent? Has anyone (excluding the big mail order guys) tried?

A It seems daft to turn away customers who want to buy, say, three bottles of wine. If your business is in a Majestic-like location (ie no passing trade, just destination shoppers, with plenty of parking) then you might have half a chance - if you get your marketing right and there are enough wealthy wine-lovers in your catchment area. And ideally no Majestic. And if there is no Majestic, you perhaps ought to ask yourself the question: have I picked the right location?

Alan, Winchester

Q Which

critic has the most influence on wine sales


Ed, Doncaster

Q Are wine stoppers a

complete waste of time? If so, shall I stop selling them?

SE, Wilts

Q Playing back the footage on my state-of-the-art CCTV system I notice that a young lady has flashed her breasts to the camera. Anyone else got weird incidents on film?

Paul, South Yorks

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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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