In association with Honest Grapes
Buying wine should be a pleasure rather than a chore, just as drinking it should be. I’m told that around 93 per cent of all wine bought in the UK is part of the weekly supermarket shop, and that almost every bottle we buy is drunk within 24 hours of purchase.
Well, I’m all for instant gratification and all that, but where’s the joy in lumping your vino in with the dog food, loo rolls and nappies? And wonderful though the supermarkets have been in bringing wine to a bigger audience (one in every four bottles of wine bought in the UK is bought in Tesco, apparently), there’s too often something dispiriting about the bland, uniform selections one sees in the aisles, and something slightly suspicious about the regular BOGOF deals.
This is where the likes of Honest Grapes come in. Our newest partner in the Spectator Wine Club is led by Tom Harrow and Nathan Hill and, goodness, they know their stuff.
Not only do they have scrumptious, quirky wines on their list, made by small, artisanal producers whose production is far too modest for the supermarkets to bother with. They also have Fine Cru Classé Claret, top-class Burgundy and vintage Champagne, with regular special offers on whatever has most recently tickled their collective fancy. Top-notch winemakers are producing wines especially for the Honest Grapes club members, including a spectacular Saint-Émilion Grand Cru, Château Pontet Labrie and special barrels of Burgundy.
Tom’s particular passion is Italy and Honest Grapes has a remarkable range from the land of wine too. Brunello or Franciacorta anyone? Best of all is the advice that Tom, Nathan and their team give. If you want to know what to knock back with your Sunday roast, they will happily oblige, tailoring their answer to your tastes and budget. If you want to collect or invest in wine, they will go into the subject in forensic detail. Worried about whether to store your wine in bond or at home? Well, Tom has the answer. And when was the manager of your local Asda last so useful? ‘There’s more to wine than simply your first drink of the evening after work,’ says Tom. ‘The more you get into wine, the more you have a feeling of belonging and connecting. We are grower-obsessed at Honest Grapes and like nothing more than introducing those who make our wine to those who drink it.’
They also like a happy customer. Tom and Nathan are experts in advising on how to build a fine collection of wine, not just as a financial investment (although they can advise on that too), but also as an investment in your future drinking.
‘Bad vintages are a thing of the past,’ says Tom. ‘But that’s not to say that all wine increases in value. All good wine will improve with a little age and even if you don’t sell it on, you will have a treat in your cellar for future consumption that you probably wouldn’t be able to source easily any longer.’
Honest Grapes will advise on where and how to store your wines; how and when to buy en primeur; when to drink or sell the wines you have collected. It will attend to your everyday drinking and invite you to regular tastings. It can even advise on and sell you fancy glasses, decanters and corkscrews. In short, Honest Grapes is a one-stop wine club for all your vinous needs. It doesn’t, though, sell dog food, loo rolls or nappies.
Honest Grapes competition
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