How to support independent wine merchants during Lockdown

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Independent wine merchant UK

Independent wine merchants in the UK have adapted cleverly to the challenges thrown at them during 2020. Dry January is finally over so now might be the time to stock up on some wine. Lockdown means that few shops apart from supermarkets are open. These are an obvious easy option for buying wine, but hold on, do you want something more interesting? If you are hungry for more choice and like the idea of trying something new then why not explore independent wine merchants. While many have had to shut their physical doors most are offering delivery services (often free if you spend a certain amount) and even click and collect. There are opportunities to learn more about wine from virtual tastings to recommendations from experts. Here are a few of our favourites for you to begin with.

Borough Wines

London based Borough Wines will give you the chance to ‘rethink how you drink’. They offer a countrywide delivery service for £10 and free local delivery. Their selection of organic and biodynamic wines is fantastic. They champion smaller, independent producers offering unique and interesting wines with real provenance. There is a real commitment to sustainability and if you are lucky enough to live locally to one of their stores they offer a refill service on house wines . Bottles that are returned are used 30+ times.

Normally tasting events are held in store but you can currently join them virtually from wherever you are based. The session on 19 February is all about sustainable wines. Find out more and book here.

L’Altre Vi

If you are interested in trying some wines that are out of the ordinary, special, or more adventurous then visit Oxford based, L’Altre Vi, or “The other wine”.

Rubén Everett and his mother, Rachel, have roots in Catalonia and L’Altre Vi specialises in wines from the places they love. They deal with small independent producers that push the boundaries on minimal intervention wine. They seek wine makers that really love not only their grapes, and the wine it eventually becomes, but also their land and biodiversity.

As an introduction Rubén recommends trying the following:
Firstly, Sense Manies blanc, a natural wine of parellada, xarello and macabeu – low alcohol at 10% and really refreshing.
Then, the wonderful skin contact Red Xarello ‘Methodic’ from L’Apical a masterful ‘orange wine’.
And finally, ‘La Somera’ – by Clos dels Guarans. This almost ‘accidental wine’ has been oxidised during the fermentation process. It has a similar character to the wines found in Jura. This is a deeply complex red wine with hints of chocolate and dried currants. 

Countrywide delivery for £10. Free delivery if you live within 10 miles of Oxford.

Philglas & Swiggot

If you are interested in exploring fine wine or perhaps adding to your existing collection, Philglas & Swiggot have a great selection of 2019 Burgundy En Primeur. It’s a chance to gain access to wines from some fabulous producers.

For wines to drink now investigate their special offers for Valentines Day. You can also take advantage for their 6 for 5 offer during February.

Delivery is free of charge for all orders in the UK over £100. For UK orders under £100 there is a flat £10 delivery charge. 

The Magnum Company/Half Bottle Company

As the name suggests these sister companies specialise in Magnums and Half Bottles. They have a wonderful selection of wines at great prices. What about some half bottles for now, so as not to undo all the good work of Dry Jan? At the same time you can stock up on a few Magnums for the spring and summer when we can celebrate getting together with friends again.

Thanks for all you’re doing to support independent wine merchants in the UK. While you’re ordering your wine why not treat yourself to some of the latest wine accessories. Perhaps a new corkscrew or a set of our original design coasters.