Wine merchants – the fourth emergency service

Here’s a little post highlighting a couple of local Kent wine merchants who are pivoting, sorry, adapting, to the new circumstances plus a cracking offer for German wine lovers.

Something cheered me up on Wednesday immensely. I ran into Fabio who runs our local wine bar here in Faversham. We talked for about 10 minutes, it was the first proper face-to-face conversation I’ve had with anyone in about three weeks. He seemed cheerful enough and told me that he’s keeping busy and the wolf from the door delivering wine to regular customers. I’ve also been in touch with another local wine merchant, Johnny Wren (below in standard issue 40-something wine trade shirt) who runs Songbird wines in Canterbury. His main business was supplying bars and restaurants and he’s had to (almost used the word ‘pivot’ there) change to a “non-contact home wine delivery service.” What started off as a desperate attempt to pay suppliers has taken off and he’s very busy.

Johnny Wren: steady ladies!

Another wine merchant who I’m partial to got in touch recently, Wine Barn in Winchester, which is celebrating 20 years in business. It specialises in German wines all expertly chosen by Iris Ellmann aka ‘The Queen of Grapes.’ I’ve been to a few of its tastings and always been extremely impressed with the quality. As with Songbird, the business is trying to adapt to home delivery. To promote this they’ve come up with some special cases with home delivery included and what’s more £10 from the sale of each ‘Celebrate & Donate’ case will go to Age UK – it contains some seriously fancy wines including a premier cru Riesling from Basserman-Jordan and some tasty Spätburgunder from Meyer-Näkel. Just what I need in this strange times.

So some good news stories from the  wine world. I’m still terribly worried about the pubs but as long as the smell of brewing still wafts from Shepherd Neame, then I’ll remain calm.

About Henry

I’m a drinks writer. My day job is features editor at the Master of Malt blog. I also contribute to BBC Good Food, the Spectator and others. You can read some of my work here. I’ve done a bit of radio, given some talks and written a couple of books (Empire of Booze, The Home Bar and the forthcoming Cocktail Dictionary).
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