Marks and Spencer and Majestic have been voted the UK’s best retailers at the Decanter World Wine Awards.
M&S beat Asda, Booths, Tesco and Waitrose to win Supermarket of the Year and Majestic was the clear favourite in a short list which included Nicolas, Oddbins, Thresher and Wine Rack to clinch Specialist Wine Chain of the Year.
Tesco was a runner-up in the first category, praised by judges as rising to the challenge of being market leader – ‘a big responsibility.’
Winners were selected – from a longlist voted by readers – by a panel chaired by wine writer Anthony Rose, and consisting of editor Guy Woodward, Steven Spurrier, Joe Fattorini of Scottish newspaper the Herald, Carolyn Hart of the Daily Telegraph and wine consultant Mike Paul.
Venerable London merchant Berry Bros and Rudd was voted Online Merchant of the Year, and Vintage Roots in Reading, Berkshire, which specialises in organic and biodynamic wines, won Specialist Independent Merchant of the Year. SA Wines Online was a runner-up in the latter category.
South London’s Green & Blue won Independent Wine Merchant of the Year in the Under 12 staff category. The judges praised the tiny two-shop chain run by former Conran sommelier Kate Thal, for its attention to detail, noting the fact that ‘staff will even print out a tasting note’ if the wine is for a gift.
WoodWinters Wines and Whiskies near Stirling in Scotland was a highly-praised runner-up in this category.
The Over 12 staff category was won by Suffolk-based chain Adnams, fighting off stiff competition from Tanners and Lea and Sandeman. Its blend of cellar and kitchen is ‘so of its time, but it is the only merchant doing it quite this way,’ Decanter World Wine Awards chairman Steven Spurrier said.
While nearly 3000 readers and decanter.com visitors chose the longlist from which the judging panel chose the winners above, UK-based Decanter magazine subscribers were invited to choose two outright winners in two separate categories.
These were High Street Wine Chain of the Year and Wine Merchant of the Year, won by Majestic and The Wine Society respectively.
Full results of the Decanter World Wine Awards Retailers of the Year Awards can be found in Decanter magazine’s October Issue, out now. Subscribe online and save up to 30%
Written by Adam Lechmere