We try thousands of wines, beers and spirits every year to keep our range up to date and spot-on for our clients’ needs. Character is key when it comes to making our choices – that’s not to say that everything has to be bonkers but it all needs style; whether that’s classic, quirky, international or downright crazy – we are open to it all so long as it does the right job for our customers.
On the beer front, it’s all about style, stories and craftsmanship. You’ll never find a watery, soulless brews on our lists but you will find a well-considered range that suits a variety of needs. We love finding vibrant producers who are producing beers in modern ‘craft’ styles as well as those that bridge the gap between more familiar ale/lager styles and the wacky world of modern beer.
We choose wines that will suit the typical international palate and work in a chalet or bar/restaurant situation (flexible with/without food). Some are traditional classics like Sancerre, Chablis and Rioja. Others are more modern in style, influenced by the New World (wines that are often fruitier, softer, fresher – and labelled by grape variety). From easy-quaffing everyday wines to special-occasion classic bottles, we look for superb producers who offer exceptional value for money.
Many wines come from producers who already sell successfully to international markets. With our international clientele, that counts for a lot. Whilst most of our wines still come from France and the Old World, we have a growing range of New World and other European wines.
Our spirits range is young but developing. Gin is leading the way at the moment with its range of possibilities and emphasis on craftsmanship. Hot on the heels of the Gin revolution are a whole bunch of other producers, each seeking a new take on spirits in all styles and we are keeping a close eye on them. Like beers, spirits are emerging from too many years of polarisation – either being samey and boring or totally over-worked. The really interesting stuff lies in the subtle middle ground and we are really enjoying exploring it.
As well as what’s inside the bottle (or keg), we take presentation into account: a cheesy label or bottle on the table isn’t great for your image. It’s not rocket science, but it makes all the difference.