Britain’s oldest wine merchant hosted a “Christmas in July” event at its store on St James’s Street, London, yesterday, complete with Christmas trees, turkey and mince pies.
It showed off a range of hampers designed as Christmas gifts, ranging from a £35 basket containing a bottle of Albarino and a bottle of Rioja to the £10,000 Wine Merchant’s Hamper.
This includes a 2000 Champagne Krug, 2000 Chateau Lafite, 1989 Chateau Haut-Brion, a 60-year-old Armagnac and various other exclusive wines and luxury foods.
Berry Bros, the Queen’s wine merchant, also believes a membership to its wine club will make a fantastic present, and it is giving away a £50 voucher to anybody that signs up a friend or loved one.
Membership starts at £360 for six months on the entry-level package and goes up to £900 for six months for its exclusive Wellington package, with full-year options also available.
Members receive a 12-bottle case every two months, and there are now four packages to choose from.
Wine club manager Katie Cooper told OLN: “Before we had just two levels of membership and it had got fragmented. We wanted to broaden the offering and attract a slightly younger consumer base.
“We have named the tiers after historical figures and the top tier is Wellington, named after our newest cellar, followed by Napoleon.
“The Wellington is pitched as a fine wine case, remarkable wines for the connoisseur. We work hard to ensure that the wines are ready to drink on arrival.”
Cooper said the club currently has around 1,000 members, many of whom she knows by name and regularly speaks to on the phone, but the time has come to broaden its reach, particularly outside of its London heartland.
“We want to reach out to people around the country a bit more,” she said. “Historically we have always marketed the wine club to our existing customer base, but we are hoping to open it more widely now and appeal to people that want to discover more about wine.”
She believes it will be popular among wine fans that are bored with making automatic decisions when faced with a wall of wine at the supermarket.
Cooper said: “It’s so easy [for consumers] to get stuck in a rut with wine buying – you pick out a couple of bottles in the supermarket and always choose the same thing – but we are hoping to broaden their horizons.”
Many of the wines are from classic regions but the buying team – which includes four MWs – mixes it up with bottles like the odd Hungarian white or Cretan red to help broaden members’ repertoires.