Sunday, September 26, 2010

Village Shops and Wine

Not for any particular reason, but today I have been thinking a little about why it is village shops often sell the worst products at excessively high prices. I fully understand that there is a need for them to make a profit and because turnover is generally low margins need to be pushed in order to make it worthwhile. But what I don't get is the fact that often what they sell is complete pap. And when you look at wine selections it really couldn't get any worse. Here are independent traders trying to make a living, and they do so by selling wines that have usually been picked up in a cash and carry and then putting a margin on it. Apart from the fact that the wines are terrible, because you're also paying a cash and carry the margins get squashed and prices are still far too high. Some make the mistake of trying to sell brands such as Blossom Hill or Gallo (the quality of which I'm bound to have said something about before) but then look expensive selling a wine that you can find in Tesco for £4 for near £8. Or worse still are selling Piesporter Michelsberg and Liebfraumilch and wondering why it isn't selling when it used to do so well!

Even those village shops who have bothered to buy in fresh bakery bread daily, local products, and the like often have terrible wine selections.

Well I think that there is an alternative, I mean there are wine shops that people actually make special journey's to go to. In other words, if people know the wine selection in a shop is very good, and competitive then they are more likely to bother trying the wines, plus people from other villages may actually come across in search of something for a dinner party or something a little nicer than you find in a supermarket.
Now it can be hard because those in charge of a village shop may well know nothing about wine, but there are two possible routes they can take. The first is to work with a merchant in a local town, they may even allow you to promote the space as being theirs to give it credibility. The other alternative would be to find a high quality agent / distributor who has a range of interesting wines from all the main regions - there are not that many of them, but I can certainly think of enough that would make it easy to place orders.

So please, if you have a village shop, have a go - promote it as a fine wine selection and let me buy something half decent when I'm away from home!

1 comment:

lozatron said...

The village shop in Constantine, Cornwall, definitely fits your walk past the veg, fags, daily mail and super-tenants to the interesting collection of wine including Margaux 2004 and over a dozen vintages of Musar. Definitely worth a visit...