The past four years have been nothing if not interesting. Taking redundancy from a solid job (if such a thing still exists) to attempt to ‘make it in the wine trade’ in the middle of the mother of all recessions was perhaps a fool’s errand. Yet, I wouldn’t have done it differently. It has been very tough at times. Not all the clients I started with have survived the bust and that’s given me plenty of sleepless nights. On the other hand, running the wine events for Wine Unearthed north of the border (and more recently in Newcastle) has been an absolute high. Meeting so many enthusiastic wine lovers wanting to discover their taste for wine is the best part of the job.
If this is starting to sound like I’m giving up on the wine trade, that couldn’t be further from the truth. But things are changing. In the past few months I’ve been working with an independent wine retailer south of Glasgow. Owner David Prow and I felt that we could really make a difference to the business if we doubled our efforts and worked at it together. So we have come to the decision that I will become a partner in Cross Stobs Bottle Shop and will spend much more of my time there, digging out exciting wines for our loyal customers in the shop but also to develop our offering online. We may be small now, but together we’re convinced we can make a big difference.
On my blog (which, by the way, will continue) I’ve often championed buying from the small independent wine retailers rather than from supermarkets. I firmly believe the service you get allows you to discover much more interesting wines than by just sticking to the bog-standard stuff that so often clogs up the wine isles, with endless fake promotions designed to enhance shareholder value rather than give you a genuine experience. Now I can truly come out and be biased even more than before. I will keep writing about wines that are worth looking out for, I will keep giving you my view on the wine world as I see it. If that suits you, then please keep following me.
I will also keep on hosting wine events, in various shapes and sizes. This includes the hugely successful Wine Unearthed workshops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Newcastle, the Food, Fun & Fizz events with Scotland’s “Food DJ”, Brenda Anderson from Tasting Scotland (the next one is on September 12th, hint, hint!) and of course more regular tastings in the shop.
As I take the next, exciting but slightly scary, steps I hope to see many of you in the shop or ‘speak’ to you online via Twitter and Facebook. Please come and say hello in person or virtually and support your local!