Why not try the one you can’t pronounce?


This month, expert Hannah Wilkins is ready to move you away from your comfort zone wines and keen to introduce you to exciting new terroir


Happy New Year! I hope you had an enjoyable festive break, and naturally that you enjoyed a glass or two of delicious wine. We certainly made more recommendations for a variety of different foods and occasions throughout December than ever before. In the more than 20 years I’ve been in the wine trade, I have never experienced so much variation in menu-planning for the party season – it was genuinely fun to have a new challenge beyond the traditional Christmas feast. We have had so many letters of thanks to the whole team for their selections, which always makes us happy, and this change in Dorset’s buying habits has really spurred us on for 2023.

Wonderfully eclectic
The end of 2022 reassured us that the wine-drinking folk of Dorset are ready for an adventure. We are always asked which area of the wine producing regions in the world we specialise in and the answer is, quite simply, we don’t. We love wine. We know about wine. We are qualified in wine. We love talking about wine. So an open mind is our policy. Our portfolio has always been eclectic – we have an abundance of classics, but we’re proud to champion the weird and the wonderful too!
As I write this, the team is very busy attending tastings and sampling lots of new products from around the globe.

Those comfortable wines
Producers really have raised the bar and are trying to show an authentic expression of terroir and grape varieties.
I love the fact that we have wines made by really passionate winemakers championing indigenous grapes.
Recently, I was asked to be part of a discussion panel about Portuguese wines, which was open to the wine industry.
One question raised was ‘what is the hardest thing at the moment for Portuguese wines and the industry?’ My response was that most of the native grape varieties are quite hard to pronounce, so we need to break them down phonetically and explain the similarities with other wine grape styles to help customers leave their comfort zone wine choices.
My advice to anyone browsing is to be brave; opt for something a little different, even if you have no idea how to say the name of the grape! It’s the only way to find new taste sensations.
If you fancy trying (well, it is ‘Try–anuary’ after all ..) a Bical, Alfrocheiro or an Encruzado from Portugal, pop in and have a look at our increasing range. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for our popular wine tasting evenings – we have some special guests lined up for 2023.
Cheers! Obrigada!


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