It's not all glamour in the wonderful world of wine

28 August, 2008

I was amused to read that wine writer Monty Waldin is to star in a new TV series, charting his trials and tribulations

in producing an affordable wine using biodynamic methods within 18 months of renting a vineyard in the Roussillon region of the French Pyrenées (OLN, Aug 8).

I think Channel 4 has missed a trick - why spend all that money carting a TV crew to France when they could film on their very own doorstep?

How about filming one

man's mission to set up a commercially successful fine wine merchant in Billericay, Essex?

Watch in awe as I do battle with white-stiletto-wearing chavs demanding cheap alcopops, and dribbling drunks with their penchant for 3-litre bottles of white cider.

See how I cope with the daily grind of shelf-stocking, admin and cleaning the sick splashes off my shop's doorstep after a customer's heavy night out on the tiles. Sounds like gripping stuff, huh?

OK, so this might be a rant of self-indulgence, and the only person believing that I could star in the next big thing to hit the small screen is myself, but it does go to show just how unglamorous the life of a retailer can be.

Yes, we want some escapism in our lives and I'm sure Waldin's endeavours will be entertaining, but the general public should also see the seedy end of the drinks industry. It's a hard slog and at times it can be unrewarding and demoralising. But us retailers will continue our toil nonetheless. I reckon it's time we were championed for doing it.

Eric Grant, by email

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