Many wine drinkers dream of finding an exciting discovery from far-off lands at a great price … unfortunately the reality is usually wildly different. Today a few large wineries produce the majority of bottles you find on the high street and names like Hardys and Blossom Hill dominate the supermarket shelves.
Many wine merchants and supermarkets are simply looking to secure the best price possible on easy-drinking, bulk wines from a large manufacturer. So if you want something a little different it’s not much use scanning the shelves in your corner shop or local supermarket – all you’re likely to find is mass-produced wine made for simple glugging! However there is hope … the advent of
the Internet and growing interest in wine (especially in the UK) has made it far easier (and cheaper!) for the average wine consumer to order interesting wines. A quick search for wine online reveals a number of wine merchants offering a vast range of bottles with handy information about each one. According to online monitor Hitwise, websites operated by Laithwaites receive more online hits than those of any other wine merchant. Browse laithwaites and you will find wines from established winemaking countries such as France and Spain as well as far-flung destinations.
There’s Pinot Grigio from Hungary and Romania, Brazilian fizz, dessert wines from Greece, Chilean Sauvignon plus that most difficult of grapes – Pinot Noir – from Patagonia. You can even try an English fizz should the mood take you closer to home.It seems Laithwaites are thriving on variety and Leading wine magazine Decanter voted them their Wine Merchant of the Year in 2007. Wine lovers must hope that other wine merchants follow suit and offer more character-driven wines from distant shores …