Bottle Apostle's Victoria Park Store
Recently chosen by the Daily Telegraph as Britain’s Best Small Shop for Wine 2011, Victoria Park based Bottle Apostle is to open a second store in Crouch End.
Bottle Apostle opened in Victoria Park, Hackney in July 2009. The idea was to cater as much to the wine novice as to the connoisseur. Owner Andrew Eakin aims to carry a broad range of wines at various price points. He believes you should be able to buy a great bottle around about the six pound price range, without compromising on flavour or quality.
The range in the new Crouch End store will be very similar to the original shop, but will feature 50 more reds and 50 more whites.
In keeping with Bottle Apostle’s try before you buy philosophy, it will also offer 16 wines by the sip from two Enomatic machines. Eakin plans to change the sipping wines on offer almost every day.
Food will play an important role at the new store with two wine-themed supper clubs or up to 20 people each week on the cards.
Bottle Apostle Crouch End will be moving in to the old Solomon antiques store on the corner of Park Road and Shanklin Road. Eakin told Harringay Online that there is quite a bit of work to be done and he expects to open in 8 to 10 weeks. The shop will have its own distinct Crouch End feel, rather then being an idenikit copy of the Hackney original.
(Thanks to the drinks business for the original story)
Brilliant, it'll be on my doorstep. soon...
Free tasting? I shall be testing what that means to the limit.
I didn't get the impression the try before you buy was free!
Here's what their website says:
Our self-service Enomatic® machines dispense wine directly from the bottle for a small fee – the wine samples are priced according to the value of the wine and are paid for using a free Bottle Apostle smart-card (available in-store).
Bah! Always a catch.
Seriously though, I think he's missing a trick there. He's more likely to shift stock if the tasting is free -- who would pay for a couple of sips, especially if you have to have a store card? He's better off politely limiting a free-tasting policy than trying to block it.
Since this is store number 2, following on the heels of a very successful store number 1, I'm guessing this guy has his tricks covered - but I like your thinking!
The enomatic machines were first used by the Sampler in Islington, which gives people a chance to try very small amounts of wines that are extremely expensive, like Chateau Petrus for example. It's a very clever system that keeps the wine in a complete vacuum whilst dispensing very small amounts, so lots of good bottles can be kept in the machine for quite a while without getting oxidised. It generated loads of press coverage and was extremely successful, making the Sampler an overnight success.
So with Bottle Apostle following the same route, they're most certainly not missing a trick! It's also not to say there won't be other free tastings as well as the Enomatic samples. I can't wait to go in!
(Wine writer, judge and educator).
A great outfit and good news indeed for the thriving independent wine merchant sector. Can't wait to have a browse and buy some choice samples. Remember everyone, the large supermarkets almost exclusively sell wine that is made in large enough quantity (ie shed loads) to supply their stores. Consequently if you want to find wines from small growers and family owned quality domaines the only way to go is with the independents.
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