The Decanter Retailer Awards aim to offer wine drinkers an indispensable guide to the best retail experiences in the UK, rewarding innovation, drive, creativity, energy and evangelism. With top wine selections and attention to detail, there is perhaps no better time to highlight some of the 2019 award-winning merchants that have been able to continue business despite temporarily closed shopfronts.
Last month Decanter contributor Chris Wilson looked at creative ways wine merchants have pivoted their business models to offer delivery to customers during lockdown stating, “While many have always offered a delivery service and are simply upping their game by offering free delivery to local customers or slashing delivery fees, some are getting on the delivery bandwagon for the first time and others are coming up with creative ways of servicing their customers during these unique times.”
Decanter Retailer Awards 2019 winners and runners-up are part of this movement, and small independent businesses like The Whalley Wine Shop, winner of the ‘Best Local Wine Shop of the Year,’ are looking for support now more than ever as they navigate their way from in-store sales to online.
The following award-winning wine merchants are offering delivery, at home drop-offs, click and collect and specials amid these challenging times. With wine sales up across the UK and continuous uncertainty, be sure to place your orders with these Decanter Retailer Awards 2019 winners soon:
The Tapas Room – Newcomer of the Year, Runner-up
Open since 2017, The Tapas Room is an impressively accessible and unpretentious place to celebrate Spain in London through tapas and wine.
While The Tapas Room restaurants are currently closed, they have creatively adapted and joined forces with their friends at Battersea Spanish for wine & food pairing courses.
Starting Thursday 23 April, they will be streaming a series of six weekly cooking classes with wine pairings. Guests can join in by signing up for free, downloading the recipes and purchasing the relevant wine from The Tapas Room supplier, The Modest Merchant, who delivers direct to the door.
The videos will be hosted by Battersea Spanish and feature Paul Belcher, chef and owner of The Tapas Room. Learn more and sign up here.
The WineBarn – Germany Specialist Retailer of the Year, Runner-up
A treasure trove of a German list, runner-up The WineBarn continues to show good growth with its exclusively German focus.
The WineBarn delivers to all location in Britain between 2-4 days and are currently offering specials on mixed cases, including their ‘Stay Safe Stay Home’ mixed case which includes elegant reds, dry whites and sparkling wines and Celebrate & Donate cases with £10 donated to Age UK for every case sold. Delivery charges on all case offers are included.
For a great selection of German wines, look no further than The WineBarn. Order now at www.thewinebarn.co.uk or shop their special case offers here:
Stay Home Stay Safe – Mixed red, white and sparkling case
Celebrate & Donate – Mixed red & white case
Celebrate & Donate – Mixed dry white case
Specialist Cellars – New Zealand Specialist Retailer of the Year
‘They embody the vibrancy of the New Zealand wine scene,’ was how one judge put it. With a range that encompasses New Zealand, Australian and other New World wines, this innovative retailer is constantly updating its stock list online and currently offering discounts on a wide range of wines from Adelaide Hills Pinot Noir and Hunter Valley Semillon to Marlborough Orange Sauvignon Blanc and Swartland Syrah Cinsault.
Specialist Cellars is offering free personal delivery to most South London postcodes throughout the holiday weekend and ships to all of mainland UK with next day delivery, plus free shipping on orders over £150.
The Whalley Wine Shop – Best Local Wine Shop of the Year
The approachable charms and fairly priced, well-sourced range of Lancashire’s The Whalley Wine Shop are reason for their 2019 win as the UK’s best local wine shop.
The Whalley Wine Shop is open for home deliveries, safely delivering to your doorstep from Tuesday to Saturday (10am – 6pm). Orders can be placed via phone, email or on their website: www.thewhalleywineshop.com/. They are currently working hard on a new case offer and will have this available in the coming weeks.
Noble Green Wines – London Neighbourhood Wine Shop of the Year
‘Enthusiasm and energy’ characterise this Hampton Hill wine shop, with a list topping 1,100 bins including wine, beer, spirits and liqueurs. With a seemingly endless collection of well-priced wines online, Noble Green is currently experiencing very high demand, but all national deliveries are still delivered within five working days.
Noble Green Wines is offering free Local Delivery for orders over £40 and free Nationwide Delivery for orders over £150. For those lucky enough to walk to the shop, they are also offering free Click and Collect with no minimum order. See all delivery details here and shop now at www.noblegreenwines.co.uk/.
Cru World Wine – Innovator of the Year
Fine wine merchant Cru World Wine has been ‘digital first’ since inception in 2015, and has therefore been “well prepared for the disruption wrought by this terrible virus” says Group CEO Jeremy Howard. “We have an unofficial company mission to be ‘the most digital fine wine company’, and this orientation is helping us today without doubt.”
Cru has seen an increase in the demand for fine wine and with this has helped suppliers divert offers and inventory that would have previously been going to on-trade channels. If you are looking to add to your wine collection, now is the time to do so and Cru World Wine is the place to look. So far there have been no disruptions to operations so you can expect delivery as usual from one of their three main distribution warehouses in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Cru currently has over 1,000 in-stock wines for immediate delivery. Shop now at www.uk.cruworldwine.com/.
Buon Vino – Organic & Biodynamic Specialist Retailer of the Year
There’s a real sense of purpose and progress to Buon Vino, the Yorkshire-based specialist making waves with its range of organic, biodynamic and natural wines.
Buon Vino still has its award-winning selection of wines to sell and at present, their courier services are operating as normal with delivery throughout the UK. They have added a new special free local delivery service for orders of £40 or more, and can also deliver cheese orders from The Courtyard Dairy to the area immediately around Settle where they are based.
Those with addresses which fall within their northwest delivery route including Settle and surrounding area, (Kirkby Lonsdale, Kendal and surrounding area, The Lake District, Skipton and surrounding area, Harrogate, Leeds, Manchester, Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley) will also recieve free delivery for orders over £75. Learn more and shop now at www.buonvino.co.uk/.
Despite the challenges, many UK merchants and independents are still operating and striving to keep up with the increase in online sales. Have a look at the 2019 Decanter Retailer Awards results for a full list of award-winning retailers, many of which are still delivering and offering specials amid lockdown.