22 Radford Street, Stone, Staffordshire ST15 8DA
Thursdays 4 - 7pm Fridays 10am - 7pm and Saturdays 10am - 5pm
Tel 01785 747491
Mobile 07770 662662
“ Staffordshire’s treasure trove of interesting and characterful wines ”
The welcome growth of UK consumer interest in wine in the last 15-20 years has gone alongside a trend to what can only be called standardisation of the Product. UK Supermarket wine buyers (powerful people) are good at their job but their orders are to concentrate on safe-bet/proven-formula wines without too much character. From personal experience of supplying them (mea culpa!), these buyers might personally highly rate a particular wine but if it has too much character it will not be suitable as some of their customers will rave over the drink as wonderful but others will not understand or actively dislike the unusual flavour and bring it back to be replaced. Their solution is to go for a common denominator standard style based on what the UK public as a whole is surveyed as desiring. Much of the wine sold today is the bibulous equivalent of lift music. It is not Classical Piano or Jazz or Metal or Punk or Blues or Opera (all of which will have small groups of fans) – it’s a Middle-of- the-Road/Won’t-upset-Anybody category. To use another analogy these are teabags rather than the incredible characterful flavours of different varieties of leaf. This is granules rather than coffee grain. This is the mundanity that comes from the perceived commerciality of “everyone will like this” as a rule of thumb for consumer choice.
One man’s tiny wine shop cannot be a dam to prevent this flood but it can be one of a series of independent merchant “islands” - one of a line of stepping stones to get across the morass to the other side where lies, of course, a proper world of single estates, personality and wines that really do have something to say.