Celebrate good times, come on!
Last Christmas we had to deal with the shock of another sudden Covid lockdown. The impact on the hospitality trade was drastic. All the pre-planning had gone out the window with staffing and stock levels already predetermined which led to a mad scramble of trying to readjust to the new ‘normal’.
At home, we had to put off visitors that were outside of our ‘bubble’ and deal with the huge disappointment and missing out on what should be a joyous occasion.
The run-up to Christmas this year since I joined the team at Fine Wines Direct UK is what one could easily describe as invigorating. The warehouse was an absolute hive of activity with wines being picked, sorted, and delivered. All for our wide range of on-trade customers.
Out in our shop, I had my first experience of the festive period – and it was really enjoyable too – but pretty exhausting. In fairness shop manager Jonathan had warned me.
It got rather busy in there with folks stocking up on lots of Christmas goodies. Having been let off the lead after last year’s restrictions.
It was so much fun helping customers with their selections. Whether it was the odd bottle or a mixed case of white and red for over the party season.
Our shelves were stuffed to the gunwales with all manner of interesting bottles. From a terrific petit manseng from Uruguay to top-notch Bordeaux, something special and extremely rare.
It was all hands to the pump to restock the shelves as we went along, and as quickly as we filled them they were being emptied by our eager clientele.
What Wines Did You Pick For Your Christmas Table?
Wines for the Christmas table have to be versatile. Especially when having to cope with all manner of vegetables, gravies, and condiments. However, with many of our customers moving away from the traditional turkey dinner, suggested options were varied and very interesting indeed.
The usual suspects of red and white Burgundy were well-represented, but our eclectic range of wines gave people some cracking alternatives.
The white wines of Spain have always been enticing, but recently the quality has gone through the roof. With albarino from Rias Baixas and verdejo from Rueda being particularly well represented.
The red wines of Spain pretty much speak for themselves. With Rioja and Ribera del Duero being well-represented at all price points.
Our range of malbec from Escorihuela Gascon in Argentina covers all bases. Especially if beef was on the table, as does our Aussie selection from Thorn-Clarke in the Barossa Valley.
And as ever, the great wines from Allan Scott in New Zealand are a perennial favourite with our customers, with or without food.
Celebrate 2023 In Style
As for the new year, let us celebrate it in style, especially if you have access to a nice glass of fizz. We can, of course, help you with that – and let’s make 2023 a good ‘un! Visit the sparkling wine section on our website to purchase your favourite fizz!
Former columnist for the Western Mail and is now working for Fine Wines Direct UK. Hosting tastings, building client relationships, and writing about his experiences in the wine trade.