Offering wine drinkers in the UK an indispensable guide to the best wine shops, online retail, wine support services, experiences and wine lists across the nation, the Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 Shortlist has been announced.
The 2021 edition of the Decanter Retailer Awards saw its biggest year to date with more entries than ever before.
In this highly competitive year, entries hailed from retailers located across the UK, including Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and 23 counties in England.
‘I’ve been judging the DRA now for several years and continue to be amazed at the quality and diversity that we have in the UK retail trade’ commented Andy Howard MW. ‘Over the past 18 months the world has been turned upside down by the pandemic, yet this has has not fazed UK wine retailers. This year we saw a record number of entries, with fantastic new start-ups going head to head with the more established companies.’
Fellow judge Peter Ranscombe added, ‘It’s been fantastic to see the growth in the number of entries from outside London over the past few years. The high quality of this year’s entries demonstrated that nations and regions throughout the UK have dynamic and exciting wine scenes, with independent bottle shops sitting at the heart of their communities.’
Scroll down to see the Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 Shortlist
New to the judging panel, Mags Janjo also highlighted the UK’s remarkable wine scene, commenting, ‘As a wine enthusiast and scholar, I’ve always felt so blessed to be based in the UK, as I’ve never had an issue finding any type, style or quality of wine. It is again so easy to assume that this must be the case around the globe.
‘Many readers and my fellow judges will agree that this isn’t necessarily so, and I would like to urge readers to continue to support their local wine merchants, as well as have the confidence to try some wines which might be somewhat off the beaten track! The Specialist Retailer categories are an incredible vote of confidence from the Decanter judges.’
In support of the drinks industry, and for the second year running, revenue from the Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 will be donated to UK drinks industry charities The Drinks Trust and The Ben. Learn more about last year’s donation here.
The judging process & shortlist
Judged across three stages by our expert judging panel, led by Chairman Peter Richards MW, entries were examined based on what Decanter readers think is most important to them when purchasing wines: Quality, Value, Range, Service, Innovation and Performance. Learn more about the judging process here.
On judging this year’s entries, three-time judge Laura Clay commented, ‘Every year, the judging gets more and more difficult as the entrants become ever more innovative in what they offer their customers. For the most part we were in agreement however, and all those shortlisted should be justifiably proud.
‘Those who didn’t quite make the shortlist should know that the competition was fierce and that they all made our job supremely difficult.’
Peter Richards MW added, ‘In the nine years I’ve been chairing these awards, I’ve never seen such a dynamic, exciting, heart-warming set of entries. Covid-19 has changed wine retailing forever – in many ways for the better. It’s hastened change, opened the market up to positive disruption, and led to a boom in sales and innovation.
‘Now is a great time to be a wine lover in the UK – but the best wine retailers need our support and custom if they are to thrive. So I’d encourage people to check out the shortlists and awards, and seek out the retailers that appeal to them.’
Final results will be announced on Wednesday 6 October at 11am BST on @Decanter and @Decanterawards Instagram stories and Twitter. They will also be published on Decanter.com and included in Decanter magazine’s November 2021 Issue, on sale Wednesday 6 October.
Decanter Retailer Awards 2021 Shortlist
Local Wine Shop of the Year Shortlist
Local Multi-Store of the Year Shortlist
London Neighbourhood Wine Shop of the Year Shortlist
London Wine Shop of the Year Shortlist
London Multi-Store of the Year Shortlist
Newcomer of the Year Shortlist
Green Champion Award Shortlist
Virtual Wine Experience Shortlist
Small Online Retailer of the Year Shortlist
Midsize Online Retailer of the Year Shortlist
Large Online Retailer of the Year Shortlist
National Wine Retailer of the Year Shortlist
Supermarket of the Year Shortlist
Australia Specialist Shortlist
Bordeaux Specialist Shortlist
Burgundy Specialist Shortlist
Central & Eastern Europe Specialist Shortlist
Champagne & Sparkling Specialist Shortlist
England & Wales Specialist Shortlist
Germany Specialist Shortlist
Italy Specialist Shortlist
Loire Specialist Shortlist
New Zealand Specialist Shortlist
Rhone Specialist Shortlist
South Africa Specialist Shortlist
South and Regional France Specialist Shortlist
Spain Specialist Shortlist
Sweet & Fortified Specialist Shortlist
USA Specialist Shortlist
Wine Support Services:
En Primeur Campaign of the Year Shortlist
Subscription Wine Club of the Year Shortlist
Judges’ Choice & Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year
Judges’ Choice is awarded at the judges’ discretion to highlight a retailer who is doing something different, innovative and creative. There is no shortlist for this category, but every entrant is considered. This category includes one runner-up and one winner.
Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year is awarded to one retailer only and is selected from all entrants in all categories. This award is given to the retailer who, in the eyes of our panel of judges, has delivered the best wine retail experience for UK consumers between 1 June 2020 and 31 May 2021. There is no shortlist for this category.
Winners will be announced on Wednesday 6 October at 11am BST on @Decanter and @Decanterawards Instagram stories and Twitter. They will also be published on Decanter.com and included in Decanter magazine’s November 2021 Issue, on sale Wednesday 6 October.