Winewyse Press Articles

More Wine Supplies for our Stay at Home Meals

Richard Esling - Monday, April 27, 2020
More Wine Supplies for our Stay at Home Meals

Recent reports in the wine industry trade journal ‘The Drinks Business’ indicate the extent of the coronavirus pandemic on the Drinks industry. With restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés closed, sales of alcoholic drinks have fallen off a cliff. Meetings in Europe are discussing ways forward for top wine producing countries such as France, Italy and Spain, all of which have been hard hit by consequences of the lockdown. With massive stocks sitting in warehouses and producers’ premises, much of which is still in storage vats, one scenario being seriously considered is distillation. 

The weather in Europe has been at least as good as here in the UK in past weeks and the vines are off to a great start, with no frost damage and little disease from humidity. Harvesting this year will start in as little as four to five months’ time in some regions, but at the moment there is nowhere to put it. Hence the possibility of distillation of current unsold stock. But the figures are staggering- as much as a billion litres!

All this has led to both producers and importers starting or increasing sales direct to the consumer, with trade customers being shut. All the French producers I represent as agent in the UK have ramped up their direct sales and are delivering to consumers in their local areas. A couple of weeks back, I talked about Berckmann wine importers selling direct to the public and another company in Sussex has just started doing the same. 

Two directors of a wine importer and wholesaler have constructed a website for direct consumer sales of the stock they normally sell only to the restaurant and pub trade. has an interesting range of great quality wines available for home delivery, with a minimum order of just 6 bottles. Delivery is only £7.95 or free for orders over £100. Based near Crawley and Turner’s Hill, the company uses its own vans for local deliveries or couriers for those further afield. 

Most of the wines are directly imported and are top quality, representing fabulous value for money.  Three wines from the Loire Valley are particularly impressive, being classic examples of their type and amongst the top wines produced in each area. The Pouilly Fumé, Sancerre and Sauvignon de Touraine are all single vineyard Domaine wines and highly recommended. I have to admit to some bias as I am the UK agent for these wines, but they were all selected for their high quality, purity of flavour and value for money. 

With regards to reds, there are some great wines with wacky names, guaranteed to bring a smile to your face as well as joy to your tastebuds.  The Butcher of Buenos Aires is a classic Malbec from Argentina, with delicious ripe fruit flavours, soft tannins and long finish. Happily no association with the leader of the 1976 military coup who presided over the deaths of 30,000 people, but the favourite wine of Marcos, a purveyor of fine Argentinian beef.

Outnumbered is the name of an amazingly well priced (£10 on offer) Pinot Noir from Wairarapa in New Zealand, referring to the fact that sheep, introduced in 1773 by Captain Cook, outnumber people by six to one. Fine tannins and subtle complexity. But the ultimate teaser has to be a Californian wine named Zin-Phomaniac. The description on the bottle tells all! “The scantily clad bottle tempts you, its secrets yet to be revealed…..arousing aromas, bold and voluptuous mouth feel. A long satisfying climax…..When you just gotta have it!” Zinfandel, that is!

Lifeline Thrown to Isolated Wine Drinkers

Richard Esling - Monday, April 13, 2020
Lifeline Thrown to Isolated Wine Drinkers

Lifeline thrown to Isolated Wine Drinkers Also Supports Hospitality Sector

Berkmann Wine Cellars, the largest independent family-run wine importer in the UK, has opened its doors directly to the wine consumer for the first time in 56 years. The Berkmann Family has been supplying remarkable wine to the UK’s leading restaurants and retailers for over 50 years. The company works with 250 innovative and prestigious producers, including Marchesi Antinori and Champagne Drappier, alongside small producers and emerging regions from over 20 countries around the globe. Recent additions to the Berkmann portfolio include Château Minuty and Ca’del Bosco, two producers which I know well and rate extremely highly.

In an unprecedented show of support for the hospitality sector, Berkmann Wine Cellars has launched an online platform that, for the first time, gives wine lovers direct access to an exclusive range, whilst raising funds for the hospitality industry. Help 4 Hospitality addresses two needs: access to wine for the public at a time of restricted supply, and revenue for hospitality venues during this period of enforced closure.

Any hospitality outlet that joins the scheme will be given a voucher code to share with their mailing list. When placing an order using this code, not only will the recipient receive a 5% discount, but Berkmann will donate 12.5% of the order value to the outlet in question. The donation can be used directly to aid the business during this crisis or split between two charities supporting the hospitality industry: The Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action.
Orders will be delivered within five working days, or the next working day within London. 
Furthermore, the initiative is not limited to Berkmann’s existing customers, as any hospitality outlet can apply to and receive a unique voucher code.

Rupert Berkmann, CEO of Berkmann Wine Cellars, explained, “The hospitality industry, Berkmann’s invaluable partner for the last 56 years, is suffering immeasurably during this shutdown. At the same time, we are hearing numerous reports of consumers struggling to obtain the wines they want because of the pressure on retailers. We have great wine, and we have the infrastructure to deliver it, while being able to generate some much-needed support for our partners in the trade.”

The campaign is set to continue until the hospitality sector is back up and running following the lift of lock down restrictions. The Help 4 Hospitality shop is online at  
Voucher codes can be viewed online at

A fabulous selection of great wines for those who appreciate real quality. There has never been a better time to add some sparkle and lift your spirits in isolation, with top champagne from the southern Cotes de Bar region, made by the prestigious producer Drappier. Made with great passion under the watchful eye of Michel Drappier, who I have met many times, the range of champagnes benefit from both low dosage (thus beautifully dry), and minimal use of sulphites.
Alternatively, try Ca’del Bosco, what I consider to be one of, if not the best sparkling wines from Italy, standing proudly alongside many a ‘grande marque’ champagne. My ‘go to’ champagne look-a-like whenever I am in Italy, this is undoubtedly top stuff (technical tasting terminology!). And with the warmer weather now here, with a glass of fantastic quality, dry, pale, refined and elegant Provence Rosé from Chateau Minuty, you can pretend to be in the South of France, even though you can’t get there right now.