The winners of the 2014 Decanter Retailer of the Year Awards, which form a 'go to list' of the best places to buy wine in the UK, have been announced during a ceremony at London's Connaught hotel.
Pic: Peter Richards MW, sponsors Champagne Laurent Perrier, The Connaught Hotel and winners (l-r) Elizabeth Kelly from Marks and Spencer, Ewan Murray from The Wine Society and Anne Jones from Waitrose
Awards chairman Peter Richards MW handed out prizes to both winners and runners up across 12 different categories.
Those recognised for their service to consumers included large and small independent retailers, supermarkets and specialists in wines from particular regions.
It has been a particularly good year for Marks & Spencer, which beat runner up Tesco to scoop the supermarket of the year award. Earlier this year, Marks & Spencer’s own-label Eclipse Bio Bio Riesling from Chile won the Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for Dry Riesling Under £15.
‘This is a testament to the hard work of the entire team,’ said Garry Brooking, head of beer, wine and spirits at Marks & Spencer, after picking up the award last night.
Other winners included Berry Bros & Rudd, which was named large independent retailer of the year. In second place was the The Sampler, which won a Decanter readers’ award as best local wine merchant in 2011.
Elsewhere, The Wine Society beat Majestic to be named national wine merchant of the year, while London’s Vagabond Wines was named best small independent retailer. In the specialist categories, Roberson won best retailer for wines from the Americas, with Bordeaux Index taking the prize for Bordeaux and Goedhuis winning in the Burgundy category.
‘We’re absolutely made up about this,’ said Roberson senior buyer Mark Andrew.
‘The purpose of these awards is to highlight the very best, giving the consumer the expert steer to those people offering the finest value, service, experience and range,’ said awards chairman Peter Richards MW.
Other judges were wine retail consultant Allan Cheesman, alongside Decanter contributing editor Stephen Brook and Decanter tastings director Christelle Guibert. The panel took into account wine range, online and in-store promotion and customer service over the past 12 months.
John Stimpfig, Decanter content director, said, ‘The UK’s highly competitive marketplace means that standards have never been higher. So these awards give Decanter readers a trusted go-to list of the creme de la creme in UK wine retailing.’
Throughout the evening guests enjoyed glasses of Champagne Laurent Perrier NV as well as an array of canapés.
Full results with notes from the expert judging panel can be found in the December issue of Decanter magazine, out now. To subscribe to the magazine, click here.
Click here to see images from last night’s presentation ceremony at the Connaught Hotel in London
The winners and runners up of the Decanter Retailer Awards in ful/:
Supermarket of the Year
Winner: Marks & Spencer
Runner up: Tesco
National Wine Merchant of the Year
Winner: The Wine Society
Runner up: Majestic
Large Independent Retailer of the Year
Winner: Berry Bros & Rudd
Runner up: The Sampler
Small Independent Retailer of the Year
Winner: Vagabond Wines
Runner up: Highbury Vintners
Specialist – Burgundy
Runner up: Lea & Sandeman
Specialist – Italy
Winner: Vini Italiani
Runner up: Berry Bros & Rudd
Specialist – Bordeaux
Winner: Bordeaux Index
Specialist – Rhone
Specialist – Germany
Winner: Howard Ripley
Specialist – Spain & Portugal
Winner: Highbury Vintners
Runner up: The Wine Society
Specialist – Americas
Winner: Roberson – Specialist North America
Runner up: The Wine Society – Specialist South America
Specialist – South Africa
Winner: Handford Wines
Written by Decanter.com staff