THE COLCHESTER WINE COMPANY (WHEELERS WINE CELLAR)
- Introduction: If you like incredible, interesting wines, imported directly from small, passionate producers all over the world, Wheelers Wine Cellar is the place for you. The wine company is a family-owned independent wine merchant, based originally in Colchester, with over 160 yrs of industry experience, boasting a carefully selected portfolio of great quality wines from family-owned growers. They are well known for have spent over 160 years bringing the very best wine to the good people of Colchester, London, East Anglia and the United Kingdom.
- Facilities: Wheelers Wine Cellar is the new shop of The Wine Company. This shop and cellar is a magnificent example of what can be done with vision, style and imagination. It was originally an empty barn full of rotten pallets that is been transformed into an exquisite wine cellar shop. Their wish was to combine the cosiness and fine wine selection of their old Culver Street shop in the centre of Colchester, with the accessibility and range of high quality, everyday drinking wine that made their Gosbecks Road shop such a destination. As a result, Wheelers Wine Cellar was born.
- Portfolio: At the wine shop, customers are more than welcome to visit and browse their portfolio of over 1000 wines which are on display and available to buy by the bottle and an additional 100 fine rare and mature bottles for the wine enthusiast held on site in a special fine wine showroom.
The shop is conveniently laid out by region and country with clear signage helping to guide the customer. Regular promotions are run throughout the store and there is usually a selection of Bin End wines available at considerable discounts.
If you are not a wine lover yourself, but are looking to give a gift, they can recommend a gift package that will impress no matter what your budget is. They pride themselves on being able to deliver a personal and comprehensive service to each and every customer with a full guarantee of satisfaction.
- Staff: They have a dedicated, friendly, highly trained and knowledgeable team to provide expert advice on any aspect of wine, like every day wines as well as many of the greatest wines of the World.
They will be more than happy to provide answers to all your questions about wine purchase, enjoyment and storage. They are possibly one of the most diverse wine merchants offering a wide range of wine related services including wines for weddings, corporate events and advice on gift buying, investment and cellar management.
- Tastings & Events: They firmly believe in trying before you buy and there is always a large selection of wines open and ready for visitors and costumers to taste. Wines are not their only speciality. Additionally they have a wide range of whiskies, spirits, beers, soft drinks, wine accessories and Riedel glassware available.
If you would like to enjoy a wine tasting experience, they offer a number of events around the UK for all levels of knowledge. Their programme includes dinner and tasting events which are presented and hosted by leading experts in the UK.
Over the past few years they have welcomed some of the wine world’s most celebrated figures including Hugh Johnson OBE and Michael Broadbent MW to The Wine Company, as well as leading producers from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, Rhone Valley, Rioja, Australia and Chile. Working with a number of local restaurants and venues they run events across Essex with tastings to suit most palates and budgets and we make sure to include something for the beginner and connoisseur alike.
- Wine Club: Their services also include membership options from their very own Wine Discovery Club where you can get the chance to sample specially selected wines that are delivered direct to your door. Each delivery comes with tasting notes so you can deepen your knowledge and appreciation whilst enjoying some of the finest wines at a special price, with extra discounts for bulk orders. Their promise as premier wine merchants is to bring a flexible service to match your budget.
- Delivery: Convenient, fast, reliable delivery service to customers in the UK and to many worldwide destinations too. Along with a no-quibble quality guarantee on all their wines or your money back. Their dedication to customer satisfaction means that they are able to offer a variety of delivery options to suit you.
- Location: Wheelers Wine Cellar is situated at Birchwood Farm, Dedham, just minutes off the A12. Right in the heart of Constable Country, with the beautiful villages of Dedham, Langham, Stratford St Mary and Stoke-by-Nayland just minutes away, littered with some of East Anglia’s finest eating establishments.
Dedham: Dedham is a village within the borough of Colchester in northeast Essex, England, on the River Stour and the border of Essex and Suffolk. The nearest town to Dedham is the small market town of Manningtree. Dedham is frequently rated as containing some of England's most beautiful Lowland landscape, most particularly the water meadows of the River Stour, which passes along the northern boundary of the village forming the boundary between Essex and Suffolk.
The Constable Country is characterised by open spaces and big ever changing skies the Essex countryside is perfect for a stroll or a leisurely picnic. The Dedham Vale and Stour Valley embraces one of our most cherished landscapes. Picturesque villages, rolling farmland, rivers, meadows, ancient woodlands and a wide variety of local wildlife combine to create what many describe as the traditional English lowland landscape. The area has a rich history and has been the inspiration to many writers and artists.
Colchester: Colchester is the oldest recorded town in Britain it is claimed to be actually the oldest town and was for a time the capital of Roman Britain. It is the only town in the United Kingdom to be a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network.
The main landmark of Medieval Colchester is Colchester Castle, which is an 11th century Norman keep and built on top of the vaults of the old Roman temple. There are notable medieval ruins in Colchester and many of Colchester's parish churches date back from this period. Colchester Castle and Victorian Park was judged in 2009 to be the best park in Britain. Currently being renovated, the castle itself will open again to the public in 2014.
The town’s friendly shopping streets are lined with Tudor-beamed buildings and elegant Victorian architecture, and the surrounding countryside has flower meadows and picture-postcard villages galore.
Benefits and Reasons to visit the Wheelers Wine Cellar:
- There are always bottles of our wines open to taste.
- 10% discount on the purchase of any 12 bottles across range of over 100 wines for everyday drinking and entertaining.
- A temperature controlled fine wine area, complete with a selection of the very best wines around, mostly well below market value.
- Huge savings to be made on the purchase of sealed cases.
- Peruse a generous selection of bin-ends, all generously discounted.
- The best selection of magnums and larger format bottles in the area.
- Friendly and knowledgeable staff are on hand to advise you.
- Make a day or even weekend of it – you’re right in the heart of Constable Country, with the beautiful villages of Dedham, Langham, Stratford St Mary and Stoke-by-Nayland just minutes away, littered with some of East Anglia’s finest eating establishments.
- Birchwood farm also boasts some other fantastic shops – pick up some of the freshest fruit & veg and farm produce in the area from the Birchwood Farm Shop, and browse the china, crockery and delightful trinkets on offer at the White China Barn.
- Name: The Colchester Wine Company
- Philosophy: To provide you with the very best wines on the market from small independent producers, and expert advice.
- Address: "Wheelers Wine Cellar", is situated at Birchwood Farm, Birchwood Road, Dedham, CO7 6HX.
- Shop Opening Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10:00am - 6:00pm
- Telephone: 01206 713560
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Web: www.thewinecompany.co.uk
- Estate Office & The Winemakers' Room
- Address: Park Lane B.C. Park Lane, Langham. Colchester. Essex, CO4 5WR
- Opening hours: Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm; Saturday 9am - 1pm (The Winemakers' Room by appointment only, please); Closed Sundays and Bank Holidays.
- Telephone: 01206 713560
HISTORY AND HERITAGE
The Wheeler family has been a part of Colchester's rich and diverse history since 1854, beginning its journey in the heart of the well-known town, on the High Street. George Wheeler joined the family's wine merchant business, established by his uncle John Lay, in 1883. The founders passed away in 1895, and descendent John Frederick Wheeler inherited the family business.
As the 19th turned into the 20th century, the Wheeler's traditional wine merchant firm continued to grow, and the family moved their business onto Culver Street in the centre of the town. Thanks to the move in 1937, the Wheelers were able to supply the increasing demand for quality wine. The Culver Street site provided stabling for horse-drawn drays, a bottling cellar, and also space for storing their precious goods.
Over the years the business matured and developed, along with the way people bought and enjoyed wine. The family's expertise in the field meant that by the middle of the 20th century, they could offer a carefully chosen selection of wines through a mail order service, supplying wine perfect for either enjoying now, sharing while entertaining or setting aside as an investment for the future. By this time, the family had been travelling the world's premier vineyards for many decades, giving them a rare and invaluable understanding of what makes excellent wine, as well as an appreciation for the best independent growers.
Richard and his son Johnny now run The Wine Company, and are the fifth and sixth generation of Wheeler men to do so. While at the helm, Richard has firmly established the family company as a national heavyweight in the UK wine industry. His understanding of what customers want combined with an extensive knowledge of excellent wine has driven the family business forward.
By the company's 150th Anniversary in 2004, Richard had overseen the creation of a bespoke trade depot, opened wine bars in the City of London, taken over restaurants, bought half a vineyard in New Zealand, opened an innovative wine market with space for hosting dinners and tastings, and moved the whole business to the developed Gosbecks Park on the outskirts of Colchester. His vision for supplying excellent quality wine for every day drinking and enjoyment has won the company a string of awards, of which the family is very proud. The Company's office moved in the spring of 2014 to Langham, just north of Colchester and a brand new shop 'Wheelers Wine Cellar' opened in Dedham, mid-May 2014.
With nearly 160 years of rich history behind them, the team at The Wine Company is dedicated to preserving what makes them so special as they move forward. The expert staff that has joined the company has become a part of the family, and are proud to be able to provide such good quality wine to the whole of the UK. Inspired by the ambition of the early Wheelers, Richard and Johnny continue to look to the future and how they can add to their family's, already rich, heritage.
What wine would you suggest to partner this food? This is one of the most commonly asked questions by customers in our Dedham shop. It is a question that they love, not only because it shows them that their customers are thinking hard about their wine choice, but also because it gives them a challenge, and one that they are always happy to take on. After all it is one of the key services of an independent merchant to recommend wines to suit an occasion.
Their record to date is good, due in part to the trial and error of their ever experimental wine advisors, but mainly because they stick to a few simple rules.
Here their top ten tips to help you choose the right wine for the meal:
- When choosing the right wine to accompany your fish always consider the texture of the fish. Crisp white wines such as Muscadet or Soave work well with oily fish such as sardines. Richer whites such as oaked Chardonnays, Chenin Blancs and dry Alsace Rieslings are better partners to fleshier fish such as sea bass or turbot. Red lovers should try a light Pinot Noir with meaty tuna or salmon.
- Rich foods are often best when accompanied by sweeter wines. Try scallops with a demi-sec Vouvray, lobster with Alsace Grand Cru Riesling and foie gras with Sauternes.
- Spicy dishes are best accompanied by youthful, fruity wines. Aromatic, oriental spices often require a fragrant, vibrant white wine. With strong Indian spices it is often best to serve a flavoursome red.
- The finest red wines are often best saved for simply roasted meats. Mature claret with beef, fine Burgundy with chicken and reserva Rioja with lamb are all heavenly.
- Avoid salty foods with tannic reds. Cured meats and hams are best accompanied by light reds such as Beaujolais or new world Pinot Noir.
- Don't forget the sauce! If a sauce or jus takes centre stage in a dish then more often than not the wine should be chosen to accompany this rather than the food it coats.
- When eating Italian, drink Italian. With any dish where tomatoes and olives feature heavily try a vibrant Sangiovese or crisp Pinot Grigio.
- Sauvignon Blanc is a vegetarian’s best friend. Salads, quiches and all sorts or roasted vegetables and herbs can be accompanied by this versatile variety.
- Always ensure that your dessert wine is sweeter than your dessert. Fruity Muscats work well with fresh fruity puddings. Richer botrytis wines are better with more caramelised flavours. With chocolate, try a sweet red.
- Port is not always perfect, except with stilton. A mature red will often work better with a mixed cheese board. Other good matches include: Sauvignon Blanc with goat’s cheese, Gewuztraminer with “stinky” cheese and Sauternes with salty blue cheeses.
- Don't be afraid of a little experimentation though, there are some surprisingly good matches that break all the rules.
RIOJA WINEMAKER EVENING AT TYMPERLEYS WITH PEDRO URBINA
Tymperleys is a Tudor merchant house set in a walled garden in the centre of Colchester. Opening 8th May 2014 as a tearoom/restaurant and events venue. The building, started in the 1490s, derives its name from John Tymperley (d.1505) who served as a councillor and steward of the Duke of Norfolk’s holdings in Colchester and the surrounding area.
- Aperitif. Served with:
2013 Rioja Blanco, Bodegas Urbina
2013 Rioja Blanco, Bodegas Urbina
- Pan roasted sea bream, tomato fondue, chorlzo, garlic and chilli prawns. Served with:
2013 Rioja Rosado, Bodegas Urbina
- Lamb rump, red pepper marmalade, crushed olives, slow cooked onion and potato cake, fine beans and lamb fus. Served with:
2013 Rioja Tempranillo. Bodegas Urbina
1999 Rioja Selección, Bodegas Urbina
2001 Rioja Reserva Especial, Bodegas Urbina
- Selection of Spanish cheeses, crackers, grapes and membrillo. Served with:
2011 Rioja Crianza, Bodegas Salva
1994 Gran Reserva Especial, Bodegas Urbina
Spanish wines also go hand with Iberia's gastronomy, and the increasing popularity of Spanish cuisine has no doubt had a hand in making Spain and Rioja one of the 'hottest' wine regions around.
Bodegas Urbina Wines first came across the Colcheser Wine Company 18 months ago with the introduction of their delicious 1999 Seleccion to their portfolio, and Pedro’s tasting showed us that this exceptional quality runs throughout their range, from their Joven wines to their Gran Reservas. The family owned single estates 75 hectares of vines are situated in Cuzcurrita de Rio Tiron, at the north-western edge of Rioja, a region renowned for producing wines with a great capacity for ageing, yielding Reservas and Gran Reservas of extraordinary complexity and longevity.
Rioja is perhaps Spain’s most famous wine region. Situated along the river Ebro in the north of Spain, and protected from the buffeting winds of the Atlantic by the imposing Sierra de Cantabria in the west, this vineyard produce some of Spain’s finest wines, the very best of which can age for many years.
- Viura: Is the term used in Rioja for the white Macabeo grape which is the most planted white grape in northern Spain. It has a slightly floral character but in general quite a low acidity.
- Tempranillo: Is without doubt Spain's most important grape variety. It is a major constituent of most Riojas and in Ribera Del Duero it is so highly regarded that it is often the sole variety in these highly sought after wines. Outside of these two heavyweight regions it found throughout much of the northern half of Spain and in some of the higher altitude regions further south.
Few producers outside of Spain have had much success with the variety, although you may see the occasional example in Australia or Argentina, due largely to the fragility of the variety and its tendency to ripen unevenly in unsuitable climates. The moderate continental climate of Spain’s interior seems perfect, especially on the higher slopes of Spain's hilly regions. Here is where the best balance is struck between hot sunny days and cool nights. The thin skinned grapes are refreshed at night and therefore retain the much needed acidity that is all too easily lost from Tempranillo in extreme heats. Brisk Atlantic breezes also influence the climate of much of northern Spain and this air circulation keeps the grapes free of damaging rot.
Even if it can be a little precious in the vineyard the variety does repay the winemaker by ripening earlier than other Spanish varieties and once in the winery it is very open to manipulation from the winemaker. Tempranillo takes particularly well to oak maturation, most commonly in Spain in American oak barrels. It takes on a sweetness and spiciness that often resembles vanilla, as well as a leathery character that gives the wines an added dimension. Lesser, unoaked examples are often still deep-flavoured, with a jammy fruitiness that is very easy to enjoy.
Tempranillo is its most common name, however, if you see Tinto Fino, Tinto del pais, Cencibel, Ull de Llebre or Tinto Roriz on the label you are still drinking Tempranillo. The last one is its Portuguese name where it is a major constituent of the great ports and table wines of the Douro Valley.
- Grenache/Garnacha: Garnacha is the Spanish name for Grenache. The grape actually although better known in France actually originated from Spain. In Spain it is often blended with Tempranillo to produce the wines of Rioja and Navarra amongst many others. Due to its lightly coloured characteristics it is also often used to make rosé.
- 2013 Rioja Blanco, Bodegas Urbina, Rioja £10.99 per Bottle (75cl): The wonderful 2012 Blanco is made from the viura grape, and fermented and aged in stainless steel. The inviting nose of melon, apple, and pear is irresistible and leads you to a palate which is smooth-textured, flavourful and lively. Marvellous as an aperitif at the start of an evening’s entertaining. The concentrated flavours and zingy acidity will work wonders with a variety of seasonal canapés.
- 2013 Rioja Rosado, Bodegas Urbina £10.99 per Bottle (75cl): Bright, delicate, pale, salmon pink colour. Dominated by aromas of red fruits including strawberry, cherry and cranberry with delicate floral notes. Excellent weight packed with summer berry fruits, strawberry, hints of grapefruit and crisp Granny Smith apples. The finish is creamy yet crisp, dry and long. A great Rioja Rosado.
- 2013 Rioja Tempranillo, Bodegas Urbina, Rioja, Spain £10.99 per Bottle (75cl): Very classic Rioja with a brick red colour and aromas of red fruit. Young, vibrant and full of flavour with bags of ripe red fruit fruit, a touch of spice and soft supple tannins. Excellent value from a wonderful Rioja producer.
- 2008 Crianza Rioja, Bodegas Benito Urbina £12.49 per Bottle (75cl): Another classic wine from this traditional family owned estate who insist on only releasing wines when they are at their absolute peak drinking. 12 months in American oak then cellar aged until release, despite this being the 2008 vintage this was only released in 2015. From the glass you can see the maturity a tint of garnet on the rim, delicious intensity of fruit with red berry and vanilla notes, well balanced with great structure with superb length. Another Rioja from this ultra reliable producer which punches well above its price bracket.
- 1999 Selección Rioja, Bodegas Benito Urbina £17.49 per Bottle (75cl): Intense, dark ruby red colour. Very concentrated nose of berries, damsons, and figs. On the palate, full-bodied, rich fruit cake and savoury vanilla flavours, well-structured, mellow, firm tannins with the fine elegance of the Urbina marque.
- 2001 Rioja Reserva Especial, Bodegas Urbina, Rioja, Spain £18.99 per Bottle (75cl): The 2001 Reserva Especial was produced from organically grown fruit from low yielding 50 year old vines, and aged for 24 months in both French and American oak. It is dark ruby-coloured with a funky/earthy nose that also reveals crushed rock, spice box, and black cherry. Made in a traditional style, it is graceful on the palate with silky red fruits, lively acidity, excellent balance, and a pure finish. It can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years. If you're enchanted by fine, mature Rioja then this is your wine. 90pts Robert Parker - The Wine Advocate.
- 2011 Salva Rioja Crianza, Bodegas Urbina, Rioja, Spain £14,99 per Bottle (75cl): Cherry red colour with garnet rim, with abundant tears. Intense, complex nose of red and black fruits, blackberry, raspberry and ripe cherry, with balsamic and spicy traces. Roasted cocoa, much minerality and hints of rain forest. Powerful and elegant on the palate, great structure, balanced and smooth with ripe black cherries flavoured with cocoa and spices. Refreshing acidity and minerality, with a long, lingering aftertaste.
- 1994 Gran Reserva Especial, Bodegas Urbina, Rioja, Spain £32.00 per Bottle (75cl): Their Gran Reserva comes from Bodegas Urbina’s best grapes, 90% Tempranillo, and all from vines with a minimum age of 20 years. Such is the depth and intensity of the wine that it is matured in oak barrels for two years and then a further four years in bottle at the winery before they even consider releasing it. A proportion is also held back for release when it is considered to be at its peak, and that is now. It has developed a garnet-red colour that looks almost mahogany-like in the glass, and the aroma that it gives is of classic spicy mature Rioja but still with a wealth of fruit. The palate is a delight, with a real intensity of stewed autumn fruits combined with sweet spice. The texture is soft and smooth yet still with real precision, and the finish just seems to go on and on. A truly exceptional wine.
THE ENTUSIAST AND KNOWLEDGEABLE TEAM
- Richard Wheeler: 2012 was a very proud year for him, it was the year that he celebrated 60 years working in the wine trade, an achievement that not many people can match. In that time he has seen many changes in the way that wine is bought and sold, and at each point his family business, of which he is the fourth generation, has been at the vanguard. He began his career selling wine by the roaring fire in their old high street store in Colchester, and he now find myself advising on Website updates and innovating new selling strategies, some change indeed. Throughout the years he has seen wines come and go and new regions of the world develop with great success, but if you were to push him for his favourites, he would still be drawn to the timeless French regions of Champagne, Alsace and Burgundy.
When he is not in the office you will likely find his out fly fishing, watching England or his beloved Essex playing cricket or enjoying a plate of delicious Mersea Island oysters.
- Mark Cronshaw (Operations Director): Following various part-time roles with the Wheeler family business since 1998, he joined the team full time in 2004, shortly after graduating with a degree in a the unrelated subject of Graphic Design. He worked his way to shop manager, before taking a more creative sales and marketing position, developing the internet and mail-order side of the company. He is now responsible for the day-to-day running of The Wine Company, a challenging and time-absorbing role to say the least, but one that’s a huge amount of fun.
He is a big fan of sports, cricket and football in particular, as well as music, cooking, socialising and wine slots perfectly into any free time he has. He enjoys all the many aspect of this fabulous product, but the red wines of the Rhône Valley are one of his favourites.
- Ben Godfrey (Buyer): Obviously you wouldn’t think it from his ‘fresh-faced’ appearance, but he has been with the company in its various guises for 20 years. He joined straight from university, starting out as a lowly store and cellar hand, and have subsequently spent some time in virtually every part of the business. He joined the buying team in 2000, and now oversee all of their buying and sourcing, constantly looking for great new wines to add to their range.
He enjoys wines from all over the world, and particularly enjoys wines from Italy and Southern France, but if you pressed him, he will choose red burgundy as his desert-island wine. "When it’s good, it’s absolute perfection".
When not in the office, he generally operating a taxi service for one or both of his children or involved in some sort of diy! If he ever get the chance, he likes to get his art equipment out, and do a spot of painting.
- Carine Wheeler (Wine Sales): She left France and join the Company in 1998 for a 6 month experience and 17 years later, she still here. She was born and grew up in Champagne with her parents, Colette & Michel Guilleminot always working very hard. Her brother Patrice, sister Corinne and her always had to help out in the vineyard and in the cellars. So she knew quite a lot about champagne making but was always eager to learn more about other wine regions.
She therefore studied for two years in Burgundy at the wine university followed by two years in Paris to learn more about the international side of the wine industry. This university in Paris lead her to find a job abroad and the Wheeler family offered her to join the team in 1998. She worked first in the shop then was events manager for few years. She then joined the London Wine Bars team and eventually worked with the mail order team.
Her favourite drink is champagne of course but she love wine particularly from Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône valley. Other pleasures in life are spending time with her three lovely boys and playing tennis when they let her to do so. She also loves music, nature and always enjoy going for long walks.
- James Russell-Grant (Wine Sales): He joined the Wine Company as shop manager in February 2011 having started his wine career only 4 years previous with a Suffolk based wine merchant.
Today his role has expanded to include not only the day to day running of their fantastic wine shop, but also managing their extensive wine tasting and dinner programme, as well as maintaining and developing their website and online presence.
Whilst he is perhaps a little old fashioned when it comes to purchasing wine, he enjoys seeing, touching even smelling old, fine and rare bottles in the flesh, there’s no doubt that many enjoy the convenience of on-line wine shopping. His duty to wine enthusiasts, is to try and replicate the feel of a classic wine shop in the modern digital environment.
When it comes to his wines of choice, the tries to be open minded, "Lets face it part of the fun of wine is trying as many variations as possible from around the world".
He has a soft spot mature Australian Shiraz, wines from California’s Napa Valley and he always have space for good quality Ribera del Duero, Bordeaux and White Burgundy in his wine rack, he has a fascination with vintage Ports encouraged by his father-in-law.
Away from work he love tinkering in his workshop, designing and manufacturing products for classic cars and he is a self confessed DeLorean car geek, he also import barbecues from Portugal and enjoy real ale.
- Robin James (Wine Sales): He joined the wine company as a wine advisor in September 2011. As part of the phone and online sales team his key role is to keep customers informed of their current promotions, and offer advice and assistance where needed. He loves trying new wines wherever in the world they come from but if you pushed for his favourite region it would be Burgundy.
Outside of work most of his life is spent with his young family but when he gets a few spare minutes, he runs or play golf as much as possible.
- Angus Wardle (Wine Sales): He joined the Wine Company as seasonal help in October 2012, fresh off the‘WSET Advanced’ boat and eager to learn. Having initially flourished in the areas of shelf stacking and floor sweeping, and excelling in breaking an unusually large number of bottles, he finally wore Mark into submission and joined the team full time.
You will more than likely see him in the store, presenting at events, or attempting to inflict his French and Spanish on anyone of European origin. Indeed, his favourite wines are mostly Franco-Spanish, with Rioja, Toro, Champagne, Gigondas and Right Bank Bordeaux making up a large part of his cellar. Although he is discovering the variety and joy of the New World and Burgundy, with the help of his learned colleagues.
He is also a rugby player, and enjoys playing cricket, squash and tennis when the opportunity presents itself. Any other time he spends catching up with friends, going on leisurely Sunday dog walks, going out for dinner with his lovely fiancée, and attempting to make the perfect Gin and Tonic.
- Simon Gotelee (Trade Sales): His role has been to re establish their presence in the local restaurant, hotel and event trade, which is constantly changing for the better.
Excellent wines and great food are sold by informed staff in diverse, interesting outlets to a discerning and well travelled clientele. Thus, the local landscape constantly challenges and evolves. That being said, wine lists are often staid and static contact him for a free wine list “health check”
From a standing start, his sector is now a significant part of The Wine Company’s operation. They offer local service and flexibility with national expertise, buying power and depth of range. One particularly rewarding element of his role is liaising with the retail side of the business to run successful events in conjunction with their trade customers.
His areas of enthusiasm as far as wine are concerned are Sherry, Port, Champagne and Alsace.
It is fortunate that good food and wine are among his enthusiasms. Working locally has enabled him to play cricket very badly again. He can also often be seen walking his greyhound either around town or in the local countryside.
- Luke Crawley (Wheelers Wine Cellar): A degree in Genetics led naturally to stint in The Army which, again, led quite naturally to selling Greek Yoghurt to the masses. A lifelong passion for wine eventually brought his into the wine business and he has been running The Wheelers Wine Cellar store for just over a year now.
His personal cellar is stacked with red Bordeaux, some Australian Shiraz and a smattering of red Burgundy, although lately he has been flirting with Spanish, Italian and South African reds.
Out of hours he maintains his svelte appearance with running and gym sessions, his rugby playing days are sadly over, the injuries were just taking too long to heal.
- Trevor Kerry (Distribution & Warehouse): After joining the company back in 1986 as a temporary Christmas helper, he worked his way up to working in the warehouse. In 1998, he became the cellar manager. His current role involves looking after the vast range of wines in the cellars and despatching orders throughout the UK. You may sometimes see him out and about delivering in the local area in their green van.
Over the years he has seen many wines come and go, his favourites being fruity whites and rosés.
Away from work, he is a Colchester United season ticket holder, he also enjoys listening to music and growing fruit and veg at home in the garden.
- London Team: Their dedicated team of wine advisors in London share their passion for finding you the very best wines for drinking. Cliff, Alice, Matt, Duncan, James and Elliot regularly call their customers with specially tailored offers, to provide the best possible personal wine service.
Ivan Sheppard: ‘Though I have many preferences with both food and wine, you just can't beat a big juicy steak with a good Malbec/Shiraz blend’
Matt Blair: ‘I very much enjoy my full bodied new world wines, but a good red Burgundy with a cheese board is just perfection for me’
Richard Laurence-Allen: ‘For me, I love something lighter bodied but with plenty of flavour – a crisp Italian Pinot Grigio always goes down well.’
Shaun Oxenham: 'A hearty Sunday stew, a few good friends and a bottle of Chilean Pinot Noir might not be heaven, but it’s a good start!’
John Austin: ‘My favourite combination is a lovely bottle of full bodied Primativo with a spicy bolognese’
Tom Taplin: ‘My preferred option on the veranda over summer would be a slightly off-dry New Zealand Riesling and a perfectly cooked Sea-Bass.’
Euan Forsyth: ‘I’m a big fan of Gruner Veltliner – wonderfully fruity, fresh and with an original citrusy spice. Great with food or to be sipped slowly (or quickly) of a warm summers eve.’