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February is... Austrian Fridays!

Taste Austrian Wine Every Friday in February
Don't know much about Austrian wine? What makes Austria cool is she has her very own grape varieties: Gruner Veltliner, Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt, Sankt Laurent, Roter Veltliner, as well as having some of the finest Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc on the planet. Join us for our FREE Tastings every Friday in February from 4-8pm where we'll be pouring two Austrian wines every week. As Julie Andrews may say about tasting Austrian wine, soon it will be as easy as Do-Re-Mi... 

Austrian wine. All Shops, Every Friday, 4-8pm
Posted in Wine Store News

It's January Sale time!

Need to stock up again after the holidays?

Buy 3 wines and get 5% off. Buy 6 wines and get 10% off. Buy 12 wines and get 15% off.


*Offer valid in-store only (not online) and excludes spirits and beers. This offer can not be combined with any other offers. Valid until 31st January, 2017.

Posted in Wine Store News

Last date for Christmas deliveries

If you need to arrange collections or deliveries over the Christmas period, please ensure you order online before midday Thursday 22nd December. Orders on Friday 23rd Friday are not expected to be delivered until Wednesday 28 December.

Don't go thirsty over the holidays - order before midday, Thursday 22nd December!


Posted in Wine Store News

2016 Christmas Opening Hours

Please find our Opening Hours for the weeks of Christmas 2016 and New Year's Day 2017:
December 21  10am – 9pm 
December 22   10am – 9pm 
December 23   10am – 9pm 
Christmas Eve    9am – 6pm (except East Village: open until 4pm)
Christmas Day  CLOSED
Boxing Day  CLOSED
December 27  CLOSED
December 28   Normal hours (except East Village: closed)
December 29   Normal hours
December 30      Normal hours
New Years Eve  10am – 6pm
New Years Day  CLOSED
January 2  CLOSED
January 3 CLOSED
January 4 OPEN (Normal hours)


Posted in Wine Store News

3 Rosé Styles to Try this Summer


We love the dry and light style of Rosé from Provence as much as anyone, but there are a whole Dulux colour chart of pinks to choose from - what other Rosé styles are out there in the weird and wild world of wine? 

Nowadays, what you will find is most popular in the UK is light, dry and refreshing rather than sweet and bright red. But it would be a mistake to judge a Rosé solely on its colour.

There can be dark coloured Rosé that are dry, although very few pale Rosés that are sweet. Sometimes slightly sweeter fruit of a dark Rosé is exactly right with a spicy Thai dish or char-grilled meat from the barbecue. At other times, when it is more about relaxing before dinner on a warm summer evening, there's nothing like a pale and dry Rosé.

Here are three basic styles of Rosé - know your Rosé style and find a new favourite. 


Dry and Lean

Other than the classic pale Cotes de Provence Rosé, try a Rosé made with Bordeaux grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot such as Chateau Puynard. For a very elegant wine, Sancerre Rosé made from Pinot Noir. 


Savoury and Powerful

The classic in the genre is the almost-chewy, orange-coloured Bandol Rosé from Provence made with Mourvedre grapes. For something different, try Niepoort Redoma Rosé from the Duoro in Portugal - pale, but not wan, it matches barbecue seafood with gusto. 


Dry and Fruity

"Fruity" does not necessarily equal "sweet".  Austrian Rosé, much like Italian Rosé, is clean and dry with plenty of summer berry flavours. Try the mauve-coloured Umathum Rosa - a delicious berry blend of Zweigelt and other Austrian varieties. Another wine that is fruity and dry hails from the three-Michelin-star restaurant, Arzak in Spain - Chivite Rosado - has an excellent texture, which flexes its fruit with a wide range of dishes. 


Related post: A Guide to Austrian Rosé


Why is it called India Pale Ale?


One of the questions we are asked the most is, “What does IPA stand for?” Followed swiftly by, "Why is it called India Pale Ale?


The short answer is I.P.A. stands for “India Pale Ale” but it is not from India. The long answer? Well, this highly hopped beer has a long and fascinating history:


Back in the late 18th century, English brewing companies realised adding extra hops to their pale ales would save the brews on the hot voyage around Africa. It was too hot to brew in India at the time, and with the water being mostly undrinkable, there was a huge demand for beer by the  English colonists. It wasn’t until 1835 that the highly hoppy and strong style of pale ale became known as India Pale Ale. By the 1840s, the “Pale Ale prepared for the East and West India Climate” for England was eventually shortened to “India Pale Ale”.


The eagle-eyed may notice modern beers use the acronym - IPA - rather than I.P.A. (with the stops denoting an abbreviation from India Pale Ale). Modern styles do not spell out IPA as “India Pale Ale” because it is not particularly pale and, historically, this style of beer did not travel to India. It wasn’t until American home brewers began experimenting in the late 1970s (thanks to President Jimmy Carter for repealing the prohibition-era law against home-brewing in 1978), and re-discovered India Pale Ale, finding it the perfect vehicle for playing around with different types of hops. 


Today, when people think of Craft Beer, they think of the modern IPA - overly hopped and between 5.5% to 7.5% alcohol. The modern IPA is now only a passing salute to the historical style. If you look at the wall of beer in our shops, you may notice brewers constantly like to experiment and reinvent older styles to create new sub-categories. 


The three main styles of IPA:

English IPA

American IPA

Imperial (Double) IPA



Speciality IPAs:

Belgian IPA

Black IPA

Brown IPA



White IPA


Watch this space! 

(the new styles emerging are only limited by the brewer’s imagination. See our current range of IPAs here)



Want to know more about other beers? Read our Crafty Guide to Beer Styles in the Modern Craft Beer Era 

Posted in Product news
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