When times are hard, raise a glass to your local wine merchant...
I was struck by a piece David Williams (wine critic for "The Observer") wrote recently, and thought I could do no better than reproduce it here:
"A little moderate wine consumption is going to be part of the way many of us keep a bit of normality going in the next few isolated, isolating weeks and months. Where we buy the wine that helps keep us sane may also help sustain the networks of local merchants and suppliers until, maybe, things return to something like normal. Although I've come across the occasional story of rural wine merchants benefiting from second-homers staying away from London and stocking up with expensive wine (literally stockpiling burgundy, in one case), most have been struggling to fill the enormous hole lost by disappearing orders from bars and restaurants. If you're going to be buying wine, then, don't forget your local indie, who will be happy to deliver, and contrary to popular belief, will have plenty on offer below a tenner."
It's always struck me as odd that people who go out of their way to shop at a good butcher's or cheese shop don't take the same approach when it comes to buying wine. Instead, they're happy to boast about bargains at Aldi and Lidl.
Apart from the obvious benefits of having a live human being (and a knowledgable one, at that) to talk to, indies have two main advantages: they offer a far more eclectic range than supermarkets, many of which are in the process of shrinking their ranges; and they generally stock much better examples of popular wines.
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