12 December, 2008

Nick Hodgkinson

& Lewis Matthews

The Bottle Bank Wine, Fa


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

Sleep. No, seriously I think I would spend a bit more time on marketing and advertising. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to get the next promotion change or magazine advertising deadline done. LM

When you're not working how do you seek your thrills?

Rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking have always been my favourite distractions. LM

What alcoholic drink do you most resemble?

I was once asked this in a job interview and impulsively answered "an Australian Shiraz", to which, before being able to explain my answer, came the terse reply "So you're loud, bolshy and arrogant?". I felt the stereotyping was unfair at the time, but maybe he had a point. LM

What would you recommend to a customer wanting to splash out?

Something big, red and South American - Colomé Estate Malbec perhaps, or Masi Corbec. Argentinian wines are really up and coming and offer exceptional value for money. NH

What's the most unusual thing that has happened to you in your shop?

An American film director buying three cases of Dom Pérignon. He paid with a platinum credit card which was actually made of platinum. NH

Is there such a thing as an irresponsible drink?

Yes: the stack of Pinot Grigio by the door to my shop. Every so often one decides to leap off in a dramatic style, smashing itself on the floor - all without any sense of responsibility for how much it's annoying me. NH

If you weren't a wine retailer, what would you be doing?

I honestly don't know - probably sitting at home drinking wine. NH

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

I would look at evening out the playing field between supermarkets and everybody else. It borders on the outrageous that I can buy certain products cheaper from supermarkets than I can from wholesalers. LM

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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
  • Don't know