During my absence in Australia there seem to have been lots of exciting developments of interest to UK wine lovers. Here’s a quick round up:
North Londoners be proud and excited. Hackney-based The Bottle Apostle (pictured), Britain’s Best Small Shop for Wine 2011 (The Daily Telegraph), is due to open a second branch in Crouch End in the next 8-10 weeks. The team are super-hot on Portuguese wines so great to hear they’re spreading their tentacles – West London next apparently.
In Soho, April will see the launch of the third Vinoteca restaurant, wine bar and wine shop on Beak Street . It joins the highly successful Farringdon and Marylebone branches.
Before I headed Down Under I posted a blog about Nick Dobson Wines closing down. Good news, Swiss-born e-commerce entrepreneur Joelle Nebbe-Mornod has acquired the online merchant which specialises in wines from small Swiss, Beaujolais, Austrian, German and Portuguese family-owned producers. Apparently Nebbe-Mornod plans to build on Nick Dobson’s success introducing new wines to the UK market. Vis a vis Portugal however, leading Beira Interior producer Quinta dos Currais is now being imported by Casa Leal and I also noticed that excellent Douro producer Quinta de S. José is also looking for a new importer – hope Joao Brito e Cunha finds a new home soon if not staying put after all.
On a less happy note, I was saddened to hear that award winning wine bar and English and natural wine champions Artisan and Vine in Clapham has closed down. If their Best of English Meet the Winemaker series of tastings/dinners caught your eye (an earlier post), I am sure Drink Britain will be exploring other options to showcase local talent.