Wine news June 2009

25% off at Waitrose Wine Direct

There are sales and there are sales. Just like those half-price leather sofas and kitchens, not all promotions are quite the bargains they would at first appear to be. But starting today (Wednesday 3rd June 2009) and running until midnight on the 9th June, Waitrose Wine Direct ( has taken 25% off of absolutely everything except en primeur wines, gifts and their wine club. But that means everything else is down by 25%, and with free delivery on all orders to any location in the UK, it seems like a genuine opportunity not to be missed. Note also that a similar but slightly less flexible promotion will run in stores: buy four wines and get cheaperst free. To see what’s on offer, visit x

Tom on Telly

Some cruel people have said he has a face for radio, but now Scottish Television viewers can enjoy wine advice each Thursday evening from wine-pages own Tom Cannavan, who is the resident expert on STV’s new show ‘The Hour’, 5:00pm – 6:00pm (Tom left, with the cast of the show). The Hour launched on Tuesday May 26th, a topical magazine show featuring interviews and specialist segments including cookery, gardening and of course, wine. Interested viewers across the UK can catch-up with the show online via STV’s web site too, though sadly this service is not available outside the UK. x

Red Nose Wines raise a fortune

The Red Nose Wines produced by SAAM Mountain Vineyards in South Africa raised £736,376.00 as part of Wine Relief 2009. This wonderful achievement is testament to the power of cooperation in the name of a good cause. SAAM Mountain Vineyards, Bibendum Wine Ltd, JF Hillebrand, Quinn Glass, Erben and Multiprint all worked together with the major retailers to make sure that the red nose bottles hit the shelves for £4.99, of which £1 went straight to Comic Relief. Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, M&S, Morrisons, Somerfield and Booths all sold the wines. Jancis Robinson MW was delighted to present the cheque, saying “When he first suggested Wine Relief back in 1999, my husband Nick Lander never dreamt it would raise these sorts of amounts. Thank you everybody.” x

What’s it worth?

Ever wondered what your fine wine collection is worth? Specialist wine brokers Fine+Rare have launched a state-of-the-art online valuation engine to allow users to value their fine wine collections and get terms for sale. Mark Bedini, CEO and chief architect of the system said: “This is a breakthrough for collectors and investors, allowing them real-time access to our thousands of up to date market prices across a vast range of fine wines”. Fine+Rare has a long track-record of selling private collections and the aim of the online service is to make this process more accessible and as Bedini added “this service has a natural place on the net”. Users of the site can hand-type the wines for valuation, or copy and paste from a spreadsheet or word document to find out current market prices. Take a look at x

Roberson Wine is Retailer of the Year

Roberson Wine has been named retailer of the year at the 2009 Drinks Business Awards.Roberson was chosen for “Their wine values, sense of humour, enthusiasm and excellent service.” The Drinks Business Awards commented “Given the trading conditions in the current climate the winners reflect the judges rather ardent view that the multiples are doing little at the moment to energise or innovate in the UK market.” This is the second award in the past year for Roberson Wine, the shop was also named London Merchant of the Year at the 2008 International Wine Challenge. Founder Cliff Roberson commented “This is a fantastic result for the team, it is great to see recognition for our efforts” Right: Mark Andrew from Roberson being presented with the award by Paul Schaafsma. x