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Wine News - Archive


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. 

We are shortlisted for the International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards 2018!

6-6-18

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for three awards in the prestigious International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards. We have been shortlisted for: - Large Independent Merc...

The Oxford Wine Company Shortlisted in the International Wine Challenge 2018!

We are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for three awards in the prestigious International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards.

We have been shortlisted for:

- Large Independent Merchant of the Year
- Regional Independent Merchant of the Year (Central England)
- Specialist Merchant of the Year (Fortified Wines)
The competition is stiff this year, and we are honoured to be pitted against the likes of Berry Bros. and Rudd, Cambridge Wine Merchants, and even Waitrose!
Wish us luck everybody!


George Sandbach on Sandy's Piano Bar in The Oxford Times, April 2018

16-4-18

For a long time Oxford has been filled with some quality restaurants, good cocktail bars and a huge array of student bars and clubs. With Sandy's Piano Bar; we're aiming to create something a bit diff...

This late piano bar hits the right note

The Oxford Times, Thursday 12th April 2018

George Sandbach enthuses about his latest venture - Sandy's Piano Bar

For a long time Oxford has been filled with some quality restaurants, good cocktail bars and a huge array of student bars and clubs. With Sandy's Piano Bar; we're aiming to create something a bit different by giving the people of Oxford the chance to enjoy high-quality wines - 25 of which are available by the glass - all sourced from The Oxford Wine Company; top cocktails with highly trained bartenders; and entertaining, interactive live music. 

Read the full article here

Ted Sandbach Featured in Drinks Retailing News, January 2018

25-1-18

'Strong Sales Bring Indies Christmas Joy' - Ted talks to Sonya Hook of Drinks Retailing News about OWC's successful sales over Christmas 2017. 'Ted Sandbach, managing director at Oxford Wine Company,...

Ted Sandbach Featured in Drinks Retailing News


Strong Sales Bring Indies Christmas Joy - 19th January 2018

'Ted Sandbach, managing director at Oxford Wine Company, told DRN its sales were up 8% for December, compared to the same month in 2016.

"Month-on-month sales have been going up anyway for a long time now," he said. "Our retail arm is doing better than wholesale. Wholesale was down a bit over December but altogether we saw sales grow by 8%.

"People are definitely trading up and this is something that continued over Christmas. We didn't sell anything unusual but we sold more expensive wines. People spent £10-£15 a bottle instead of £5-£10. Italian wines did well for us this Christmas too."

Strong Sales Bring Indies Christmas Joy



Ted Sandbach Featured in Harpers, November 2017

22-11-17

OWC's Ted Sandbach was featured in this month's Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review discussing the advantages and disadvantages to independent merchants of importing wines directly from producers. ...

November 2017

OWC's Ted Sandbach was featured in this month's Harpers Wine & Spirit Trade Review discussing the advantages and disadvantages to independent merchants of importing wines directly from producers. 

See the full article here