How we choose wine
Finding wine is not hard, there is a lot of it about. What is hard is picking the good from the bad and keeping up to date. We aim to do that for you and provide a compact, well-chosen list of wines, beers and spirits.
Here are some of the things we look for:
Price vs quality. Why is some wine more expensive? It’s a good question. The answer involves; how it is made, how it is grown, the going rate, the location, fashion, the market, etc. What we always look for is the wine that has the best quality for the price. That could be a low price, or a high one, but it must give value. More expensive wine should display more intense flavours, more complex flavours and more length.
Organic. Growing grapes organically is better for biodiversity. That is a good reason on its own to seek it out, but very often it also seems to have more complex and interesting flavours. Organic vineyards will have a much healthier and biodiverse soil and it seems likely that this allows the vine to make grapes with better flavour too. So we do seek out organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines wherever we can.
Small or large producer. We look to buy wine from the right size of producer for the region and style. For example, in South America, wine estates tend to be very large and owned by wealthy people. France is the opposite, with some of the very best wine coming from very small producers. It is a case of seeking out the best type of producer for the region in question.
Indigneous Grapes. Grapes can be divided, generally into 20 or so big famous varieties that are internationally planted, plus a much larger number of lesser known, local varieties. Europe, in particular, has a wealth of local varieties, and we generally seek these out. There would be little interest in having only the famous names, even though these do produce different styles in different Countries.
Taste is king. Having considered all of the above, there is only one test for a wine. Tasting! It has to taste right. That is to say, appropriate for it’s grape and Country, so true to itself in some way. Above all it must be delicious and it must keep you coming back for more. We taste a lot of wines, and only the best make it to this selection.