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      Wine News - Archive


      Our very first Cycle Bus Tour - with added Wine Tasting!

      3-8-19

      When Jon Little of Oxford Cycle Bus Tours contacted us to see if we would be interested in a collaboration - offering wine tastings aboard his fabulous 14-seater cycle bus - we jumped at the chance! W...

      Our very first Cycle Bus Tour - with added Wine Tasting! 

      When Jon Little of Oxford Cycle Bus Tours contacted us to see if we would be interested in a collaboration - offering wine tastings aboard his fabulous 14-seater cycle bus - we jumped at the chance! What fun!

      Our first tour was a great success. We cycled across Oxford, making stops at the cellar of our Turl Street Shop, South Parks (we were lucky to have beautiful weather), Merton Street, and finally at The Oxford Wine Café. Naturally, at every stop there were wines to taste.

      We're already looking forward to the next tour - if you're interested, take a look at Jon's website!





      Coravins at The Oxford Wine Company

      19-7-19

      Following the huge success of the Coravin list at The Oxford Wine Café, we have invested in Coravin devices for all OWC retail shops, and every member of our sales team. ...

      Coravins at The Oxford Wine Company 

      Following the huge success of the Coravin list at The Oxford Wine Café, we have invested in Coravin devices for all OWC retail shops, and every member of our sales team. 

      The Coravin is a device which allows you to extract wine from a bottle, without having to actually open it. Magic! A fine needle pierces the cork, and as wine comes out of the bottle, argon gas goes in. The argon protects the wine from oxidising (it's heavier than oxygen, so forms a protective layer over the wine)

      This means that we will be able to offer a greater number and variety of wines to sample in our shops. Each store will have a selection of wines available to taste via Coravin, selected by the staff. We will also have a range of Coravin products available to buy instore and online - including the devices themselves, spare gas canisters, and aerators. 

      We're very excited about this new development at OWC, and look forward to seeing many of you in store for a sample of something! 

      The Oxford Wine Company has been shortlisted for three awards at the International Wine Challenge 20

      22-6-19

      Yet again, we have been shortlisted for several awards at the prestigious International Wine Challenge - aka the Oscars of the wine world! ...

      The Oxford Wine Company has been shortlisted for three awards at the International Wine Challenge 2019! 

      Yet again, we have been shortlisted for several awards at the prestigious International Wine Challenge - aka the Oscars of the wine world! 

      Last year we were delighted to take home the award for Specialist Fortified Wine Merchant of the Year, so we have high hopes for 2019. 

      Here are the shortlists:

      Large Independent Merchant of the Year: The Oxford Wine Company, Berry Bros. and Rudd, Lea & Sandeman, Vagabond

      Specialist Fortified Wine Merchant of the Year: The Oxford Wine Company, Waitrose, Vintage Wine and Port

      Regional Merchant of the Year for Central England: The Oxford Wine Company, Loki Wines, John Hattersley Wines, Frazier's Wine Merchants


      We are the Independent Retailer of the Year!

      25-5-19

      We were absolutely delighted this week to be named the Independent Retailer of the Year by one of the leading drinks trade publications - The Drinks Business. ...

      We are the Independent Retailer of the Year!

      We were absolutely delighted this week to be named the Independent Retailer of the Year by one of the leading drinks trade publications - The Drinks Business. 

      The other nominees in our category were Jeroboams, Bon Coeur and House of Townend. All three are excellent retailers, so we were all the more pleased to win! 

      This is the second big win for OWC this year - in February Drinks Retailing News named us the Regional Chain of the Year, seeing off competition from Cambridge Wine Merchants, Vagabond and Jeroboams. 

      A huge well done to the whole team, and thank you so much to our customers - we couldn't have done it without you!


      Great News from The Oxford Wine School

      18-5-19

      We are delighted to announce that the four OWC employees who took the WSET Award in Wines Level Two Award in Wines achieved passing grades! Congratulations to Paris Barghchi of Turl Street, Laura ...

      Great News from The Oxford Wine School

      We are delighted to announce that the four OWC employees who took the WSET Award in Wines Level Two Award in Wines achieved passing grades! 

      Congratulations to Paris Barghchi of Turl Street, Laura Perez of The Oxford Wine Café, and Garth McAuley and Nik Green of Sandy's Piano and Wine Bar. 

      We should also not forget to congratulate Wine School Head Tutor John Shuckburgh Dip.WSET for organising and teaching the course! 

      The Oxford Wine School will be holding several more WSET courses this year. For full details see this page


      Marcia Waters MW

      26-3-19

      It is with deepest sadness that we inform our customers and colleagues of the death of Marcia Waters MW. Marcia resigned from her post as Wine Consultant at The Oxford Wine Company a month ago due to ...

      Marcia Waters MW

      It is with deepest sadness that we inform our customers and colleagues of the death of Marcia Waters MW. Marcia resigned from her post as Wine Consultant at The Oxford Wine Company a month ago due to ill health, and passed away last week.

      Marcia gained the title of Master of Wine - the industry's highest qualification - in 1990. Her impressive career saw her a buyer for Victoria wine and Tesco, as well as heading up the Institute of Master of Wines' Education and Examination Board. She had been about to become the first female Master of the Vintner's Company - an institution that has been established since the 14th century.

      Marcia worked for The Oxford Wine Company for seven years as a wine consultant. During that time she contributed a huge amount of knowledge and enthusiasm to the business, and made many friends.

      She is a great loss not just to us at The Oxford Wine Company, but to the wine industry as a whole. We will all miss her, and send our deepest condolences to her family at this most difficult of times.


      Theo Sloot a Judge for The Wine Merchant's California Collection 2019

      19-2-19

      Theo, responsible for Tasting Events and Fine Wine at The Oxford Wine Company, went to London to blind taste and judge 180 Californian wines for trade magazine The Wine Merchant. ...

      Theo Sloot a Judge for The Wine Merchant's California Collection 2019

      Theo, responsible for Tasting Events and Fine Wine at The Oxford Wine Company, went to London to blind taste and judge 180 Californian wines for trade magazine The Wine Merchant. 

      Theo has had a long-standing affection for Californian wines, and so was delighted to be asked to take part in this tasting. 180 wines were submitted by importers who wanted to showcase old favourites, new arrivals and fresh twists on familiar styles. All the wines had a retail price of £50.

      To see the full California Collection supplement, click here


      Emily Silva Interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford

      11-2-19

      OWC's Head of Marketing and Retail Emily Silva was interviewed by Howard Bentham during BBC Radio Oxford's Drive Time Show on Friday. ...

      Emily Silva Interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford

      OWC's Head of Marketing and Retail Emily Silva was interviewed by Howard Bentham during BBC Radio Oxford's Drive Time Show on Friday. 

      She spoke with Howard about The Oxford Wine Company's recent win at the Drinks Retailing Awards; what it takes for an independent wine merchant to flourish in today's climate; what makes OWC special; and they even shared a glass of Joseph Perrier Champagne! 

      To listen to the interview follow this link to the BBC website


      The Oxford Wine Company named 'Regional Chain of the Year' at the Drinks Retailing Awards

      8-2-19

      We were delighted to be named Regional Chain of the Year at one of the drinks trade's most prestigious award ceremonies this week....

      The Oxford Wine Company named 'Regional Chain of the Year' at the Drinks Retailing Awards

      We were delighted to be named Regional Chain of the Year at one of the drinks trade's most prestigious award ceremonies this week.

      Martin Green, Editor of Drinks Retailing News said this: "The Regional Chain of the Year award is always ferociously competitive, and we had truly exceptional finalists this year, but The Oxford Wine Company stood out as the best in the UK after excelling across a number of categories. It delivered a strong sales increase during the past year, while general appearance and retail standards were highly praised. The range of drinks it offers is exciting, merchandising is pristine and staff knowledge is very high, while customer engagement is also exemplary. All in all, the people of Oxford and further afield are blessed to have such a brilliant drinks merchant in their region."

      OWC Managing Director said: "This is a real coup for us. We were nominated against three exceptionally strong businesses, all of whom we know and respect, and to win is a fantastic start to what we hope will be another great year for The Oxford Wine Company. The whole team should feel very proud."

      The other nominees in our category were Vagabond Wines, Jeroboams, and Cambridge Wine Merchants.



      Emily Silva profiled in The Wine Merchant's 'Rising Stars'

      28-1-19

      The trade magazine for the independent wine retailing sector profiled OWC's Emily in its new 'Rising Stars' feature, which highlights the contribution made by young people to the industry. ...

      Emily Silva profiled in The Wine Merchant's 'Rising Stars'

      The trade magazine for the independent wine retailing sector profiled OWC's Emily in its new 'Rising Stars' feature, which highlights the contribution made by young people to the industry. 

      Emily arrived at the Oxford Wine Company with a degree from Cambridge in English and a "phenomenal wine knowledge", according to owner Ted Sandbach. She had started "a very ill-advised law conversion course", in her own words, but fancied a career in wine.

      "I said to her, everyone who joins the wine trade has to do the hard yards - working in retail for a couple of years so you really understand the wine business and the people," says Sandbach. "She did that for two years and was very good at it."Emily was later fast-tracked into a marketing and PR role. 

      "Just as with my role as a shop manager, I came into my marketing role with pretty much no experience, and both have been a steep learning curve - although that's what I enjoy," she says. "I have just taken on a new responsibility as a co-ordinator of the retail side of the business.

      For the full article, click here

      Theo Sloot interviewed in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine's Spain Report 2018

      12-10-18

      Theo was contacted for comment in Harpers Magazine's Spain Report, published in October 2018....

      Theo Sloot interviewed in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine's Spain Report 2018

      Theo was contacted for comment in Harpers Magazine's Spain Report, published in October 2018. Theo said:

      'The thing about Spain is that there is a lot of change and notably in areas such as Rioja, which has been a traditional area for a very long time. We are losing the oxidation and rustic style and moving into much more modern, fruit-lifted, aromatic styles...'

      For the full article and more from Theo, click here

      John Chapman talks Premium Spain in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine's Spain Report 2018

      12-10-18

      John took part in a round table discussion about premium Spanish wines, an extensive report of which was featured in Harpers Magazine's Spain Report, published in October 2018....

      John Chapman talks Premium Spain in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine's Spain Report 2018

      John took part in a round table discussion about premium Spanish wines, an extensive report of which was featured in Harpers Magazine's Spain Report, published in October 2018. John said:

      'Spain does hold its own as far as sales and market share and the range. But at the higher-value points it sells less - that comes down to France and Italy having DOs with much higher recognition for quality, whereas with Spain those DOs that are at the top of the tree are marketed less and don't have the same domination...'

      For the full article and more from John, click here

      The Oxford Wine Company Named as Second Best Independent Wine Merchant in Britain

      30-9-18

      The Oxford Wine Company was named at number two in Harpers' magazine's Top 50 Independent Wine Merchants this week. Harpers is one of the most respected sources of Wine and Spirit trade news in the co...

      The Oxford Wine Company Named as Second Best Independent Wine Merchant in Britain!

      The Oxford Wine Company was named at number two in Harpers' magazine's Top 50 Independent Wine Merchants this week. Harpers is one of the most respected sources of Wine and Spirit trade news in the country, and their list of Top Independent Merchants has become an important event in the wine trade calendar.

      We are of course delighted with this, which sees us move up from number five in 2017, and number eight in 2016.

      We came second to the highly respected and innovative London-based merchant Vagabond Wines. Also in the top five were Berry Bros. and Rudd, Cambridge Wine Merchants and Borough Wines.

      This result comes just a few months after we scooped the award for the best Specialist Fortified Wine Merchant of the Year in the International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards, as well as being nominated for the Overall Best Independent Merchant in the same competition.

      We were also named by Harpers Magazine as number 19 in their list of the Top 50 Wholesalers of 2018 - the highest Independent Merchant in the list, and again amongst some very strong competition.

      Managing Director Ted Sandbach says: "It was a nerve-wracking experience at the ceremony, where the results were counted down from 50! We are absolutely thrilled to have beaten our performance last year. A lot has gone on within the company and we are really pleased that all our work and progress has been recognised by the judges.'

      See the full list here


      Top 50 Wholesalers 2018 Announced!

      7-9-18

      Harpers Wine & Spirit News released their list of the Top 50 Wholesalers in the UK today. We were delighted to be listed at number 19 in this list - the highest of all the Independent merchants in...

      Top 50 Wholesalers 2018 Announced!

      Harpers Wine & Spirit News released their list of the Top 50 Wholesalers in the UK today. 

      We were delighted to be listed at number 19 in this list - the highest of all the Independent merchants included. There were some excellent companies named - a sign of the strength of today's wine and spirit sector. 

      Harpers said: 'Now with three shops, a wine café and a piano bar to its name, Oxford Wine Company, under the lively direction of Ted Sandbach, also doubles as a leading independent merchants wholesaler, supplying a wide base of businesses across its native Oxford and into the counties beyond. A great list and a great independent spirit.' 

      See the full list here

      Mark's Moment of Fame! - Interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford

      14-8-18

      In honour of National Prosecco Day yesterday, Turl Street Shop Manager Mark Warde-Aldam was interviewed by BBC Radio Oxford's Jamie Ryan on the subject of whether we have reached 'Peak Prosecco'. ...

      Mark's Moment of Fame!

      In honour of National Prosecco Day yesterday, Turl Street Shop Manager Mark Warde-Aldam was interviewed by BBC Radio Oxford's Jamie Ryan on the subject of whether we have reached 'Peak Prosecco'. 

      Mark said: Fifteen years ago no-one even knew what Prosecco was, and we have witnessed this massive growth over the years. 

      Champagne prices have got absolutely astronomical now - I mean, Bollinger is over 40 quid a bottle. I think we're all looking for something that's nice and light and frivolous and easy to drink and Prosecco seems to tick all those boxes. It's very light, very fresh, very clean. 

      But I suspect that sales of Prosecco have probably peaked. We are always full of fashion and fads in the booze business. I think we've probably been drinking Prosecco for about ten years now and it's really reached a kind of crescendo and I suspect that Cava might have a sudden resurgence, because Cava is extremely good value. 

      So I wouldn't mind betting that the next thing that'll start to sell well will be Cava. 

      You can listen here - just skip to 1:49 to hear the segment!

      Turl Street's Matthew Whitaker talks Australia in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine

      17-7-18

      Our very own Matthew Whitaker went down to London's 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen to take part in a panel discussion hosted by Harper's Wine & Spirit Magazine. ...

      Turl Street's Matthew Whitaker talks Australia in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine

      Our very own Matthew Whitaker went down to London's 28-50 Wine Workshop & Kitchen to take part in a panel discussion hosted by Harper's Wine & Spirit Magazine. 

      He was joined by six others, all representative of different parts of the wine trade. Matt says: 'It was a great discussion that gave me an insight into Australia's position in the current wine market.' 

      See the full article here

      John Chapman talks Australia in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine

      17-7-18

      John was contacted for quote in a piece in Harpers' recent Australia Report, on the subject of fine wine....

      John Chapman talks Australia in Harpers Wine & Spirit Magazine

      John was contacted for quote in a piece in Harpers' recent Australia Report, on the subject of fine wine. John said:

      'Premium sales of Australian wine are a small part of our sales, but knowledge and education are both growing. Famous top-end wines such as Grange, Grace and Clonakilla have always had a niche, but the small-production boutique wineries of quality are definitely an area of growth'

      For the full article, click here

      The Oxford Wine Company Wins the International Wine Challenge's Specialist Fortified Merchant of the

      11-7-18

      We are delighted to announce that we won the Specialist Fortified Wine Merchant of the Year at last night's International Wine Challenge Awards. It was the first time we entered this award categor...

      The Oxford Wine Company Wins the International Wine Challenge's Specialist Fortified Merchant of the Year Award!

      We are delighted to announce that we won the Specialist Fortified Wine Merchant of the Year at last night's International Wine Challenge Awards. 
      It was the first time we entered this award category - so to have won is a fantastic achievement! We are also very pleased to have come out on top of the other nominee - Waitrose, no less! 
      Winning this award is testament to the hard work put in by the whole OWC team - so a huge congratulations is due to all. 

      Oxford Wine Company Products Featured in the Press

      25-6-18

      Our 2000-strong list of products can be hard to navigate - and while we do our utmost to provide information and tasting notes on each of them, sometimes it's nice to get a second opinion. Naturally, ...

      Oxford Wine Company Products Featured in the Press

      Our 2000-strong list of products can be hard to navigate - and while we do our utmost to provide information and tasting notes on each of them, sometimes it's nice to get a second opinion. Naturally, we think all of our products are excellent!

      So, we've created a new page on this site, where we post a monthly round-up of reviews of our products from the wine and consumer press. 

      Take a look at the page here

      Ted Sandbach Named in Drinks Retailing's Top 100 Most Influential People in Wine 2018

      11-6-18

      For the second year running, The Oxford Wine Company's Owner and Managing Director Ted Sandbach has been named in Drinks Retailing magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in Wine 2018. ...

      Ted Sandbach Named in Drinks Retailing's Top 100 Most Influential People in Wine 2018

      For the second year running, The Oxford Wine Company's Owner and Managing Director Ted Sandbach has been named in Drinks Retailing magazine's Top 100 Most Influential People in Wine 2018. 

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