10 December, 2010

Surprisingly, it turned out to be one of our best weeks. I think it’s partly to do with the fact we’re still new and most of our customer base is drawn from the immediate local area so they were able to get to us no matter what the weather was doing. We’ve had a bunch of events, such as a beginner’s guide to wine tasting and other bespoke tastings that have been very well attended. We only had a few cancellations, unlike our restaurant neighbours who have been suffering a bit.”?Stephen Finch?Vagabond Wines?Fulham, London??“We only have deliveries from Booker and they have been getting through fine – we’re not short of anything but we’ve not started gearing up for Christmas yet. We haven’t noticed fewer people coming in as we’re a convenience store so people are only coming a few hundred yards. We rung up a few customers and took things out to them because we’re nice like that.”?Alan Dunn?Open All Hours?Keswick, Cumbria ?“We largely avoided the snow and it’s just been very, very cold, but all the main roads have been open, so it’s not hit us in terms of business. We’ve still had people coming into the shop. The only way it has impacted us is in terms of logistics with deliveries coming from other parts of the UK.”?Brian Saunders?Magnum Wine Shop?Swindon, Wiltshire??“Business was very bad during the snow and we were very quiet. It’s picking up again now the snow has melted.”?Emre Caliskan?Wine Me Up?Brighton, East Sussex??“We didn’t have too much snow in Cheltenham so we weren’t that badly affected – and we didn’t have any problems with deliveries.”?Leigh Norwood?Favourite Beers?Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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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?

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