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Wine News - Archive


Standlake and Botley Road shops to re-open

26-3-20

In light of the advice published yesterdat morning by the government, we have taken the decision to reopen our shops in Standlake and on Botley Road. The advice, which you can look at here, clearly...

STANDLAKE AND BOTLEY ROAD SHOPS TO RE-OPEN

In light of the advice published yesterday morning by the government, we have taken the decision to reopen our shops in Standlake and on Botley Road.

The advice, which you can look at here, clearly states 'Off-licences and licenced shops selling alcohol, including those within breweries' are exceptions to the instruction to all retail premises to close.

We have chosen these two shops as they are both extremely spacious, and we are confident that we can maintain the recommended two metres' social distancing guidelines.

Unfortunately, due to its small size and limited accessibility except by public transport, our Turl Street shop will remain closed for the time being.

We would ask that customers refrain from paying for their purchases with cash. We will be keeping the premises scrupulously clean, and have hand sanitiser available as well as sinks which you are very welcome to use to wash your hands if you wish. Of course, we also ask you to come to the stores only if you and your household are free from covid-19 symptoms and have not been advised to self-isolate.

We are of course still operating a thriving delivery business, and those who would rather order online or over the phone are still encouraged to do so. 


IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR USING OUR ONLINE SHOP

26-3-20

Please do not use Google Chrome to place an order through our online shop. We have been experiencing problems with this, particularly in conjunction with visa cards! ...

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR USING OUR ONLINE SHOP

Please do not use Google Chrome to place an order through our online shop. We have been experiencing problems with this, particularly in conjunction with visa cards!


Important update on deliveries

24-3-20

Wow! We have been inundated with orders for delivery over the past two days. It seems like a LOT of you want to support your local wine merchant - and for that we thank you! A few issues have come ...

IMPORTANT UPDATE ON DELIVERIES

Wow! We have been inundated with orders for delivery over the past two days. It seems like a LOT of you want to support your local wine merchant - and for that we thank you!

A few issues have come up due to this huge influx of orders and also (understandably) a lower staffing level due to government guidelines.

We would like to emphasise that we are still processing orders, and will continue to do so. Please continue to place them!

However, our delivery times may be a little longer than usual. We are doing our best to keep up with demand, and everybody will get their wine!

There has also been a little glitch on our - and a few other retailers' websites. Problems can arise when using Visa cards to pay in a Chrome browser. For ease of ordering, we encourage you to use either a different card or different browser.

We are so heartened by the amount of support that has come out of our local community during this very difficult and surreal time. Thank you.


Update on the Coronavirus situation

18-3-20

Dear Customers, Here are a few words on how the Coronavirus situation is affecting – and not affecting – business at The Oxford Wine Company. The first thing we would like to emphasise is that ...

Update on the Coronavirus situation 

Dear Customers,

Here are a few words on how the Coronavirus situation is affecting - and not affecting - business at The Oxford Wine Company.

The first thing we would like to emphasise is that all of our shops are still very much open - including our new store at Millets Farm Shop! The staff are keeping their hands nice and clean, and if you would like to use our sinks to wash yours you will be very welcome to. We also promise not to be offended if you would like to stand at a distance! We do ask you, though, to use cards to pay where possible, limiting the amount of cash our staff have to handle.

If you would prefer to stay at home, we understand and - as always - offer free delivery in the local area (this is quite a large definition of local, and a list of postcodes can be viewed here: https://www.oxfordwine.co.uk/delivery) for six bottles or more. You can order online via our website or we strongly encourage you to pick up the phone and give us a call! We still have a committed team of knowledgeable and friendly staff who will be delighted to give advice and organise orders over the phone.

As for tasting events, we are currently postponing all confirmed events up to the end of April. We will be in touch with new dates over the next few weeks as the situation becomes clearer.

In the meantime, we encourage all of you to, where possible, support local businesses. We have already seen many fantastic initiatives from independent shops, bars and restaurants in the local area, and we are sure there is more to come.

Stay safe, take care, and do get in touch if you have any questions.

With very best wishes,

The team at The Oxford Wine Company


Sandy's Piano and Wine Bar opens a new site in London

13-2-20

Since its opening in 2017, Sandy's Piano and Wine Bar has become a firm favourite of the partygoers of Oxford. Now, owner George Sandbach has expanded with a new site in Chelsea!...

Sandy's Piano and Wine Bar opens a new site in London

Since its opening in 2017, Sandy's Piano and Wine Bar has become a firm favourite of the partygoers of Oxford. Now, owner George Sandbach has expanded with a new site in Chelsea!

Sandy's London will be run along the same lines as the Oxford site with late nights, live music and excellent drinks (supplied by us at The Oxford Wine Company). 

It opens to the public tomorrow, the 14th February and is located on 158 Old Brompton Street, London SW5 0BA. 

We strongly encourage you to go and pay a visit!



The Oxford Wine School Announces WSET Dates for 2020!

19-12-19

Following on from the success of our wine education programme this year, we are delighted to announce an expanded programme for 2020. ...

The Oxford Wine School Announces WSET Dates for 2020! 

Following on from the success of our wine education programme this year, we are delighted to announce an expanded programme for 2020. 

We will be running WSET Levels One, Two and Three. For more details, take a look at the main Wine School page here



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