Introducing Rotie Cellars – Fine Rhone-Inspired Wines from Washington State

12 May 2017 by Alex

Rotie Cellars Line-upWinemaker Sean Boyd of Rotie Cellars set out in 2007 to make the best possible wines from Rhone varieties in Washington State. ourcing fruit from his base in Walla Walla as well as the Rocks district, his mission statement is encapsulated in his ‘Old World Wines from New World Vines’ tag line. The aim is to make the wines with moderate alcohol and ripeness levels and to pay homage to his favourite Rhone valley wines. We found these wines to be a breath of fresh air in a world of North American wines dominated by California, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay. In fact, we liked them so much that we decided to import them directly and become their sole representative in the UK.

Bottle-SouthernThe Southern Blend is inspired by the likes of Chateauneuf-du-Pape and contains a majority of Grenache alongside varying proportions of Syrah and Mourvedre. This is a bright, raspberry scented wine with hints of peppery spice and leather achieving a great balance between power and elegance.

The Northern Blend is a ‘savoury companion’ to the Southern, based on Syrah co-fermented with around 5% Viognier. The bold blackberry fruit and black pepper from the Syrah are enlivened by the aromatic florality of the Viognier giving way to a generous, silky texture.

To celebrate the arrival of these beauties, we will be pouring the Southern Blend and Northern Blend for free in store on Wednesday the 17th of May 2017 from 5pm to 9pm in Chiswick, and on Thursday 18th of May 2017 in Kew. There may even be a couple of surprises to taste in the form of some limited edition single varietal bottlings!

Rotie Cellars Vineyard

The Good Wine Shop Uncorked

9 January 2017 by Alex

Our fun and informal wine courses continue in Chiswick and Kew in April and May.

This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about wine through the natural medium of tasting various delicious examples. We will cover how to taste wine, how wine is made, and a useful guide to the most important regions of the world. The course is designed to be an enjoyable way to deepen your appreciation of the world of wine, and of course our friendly wine educators will be available to field all your unanswered wine questions.

Courses will run on Tuesday nights in Kew between 8pm and 10pm and on Wednesday nights in Chiswick between 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Dates for the sessions in Kew and Chiswick are below:

Kew: 25/4 & 2/5; 9/5 & 16/5. Plus a final complimentary, week 3 finale for attendees of either set of sessions held on 23/5 in the form of an open forum, myth-busting, Q&A session.
26/4 & 3/5; 10/5 & 17/5. Week three Q&A on 24/5.

Single sessions cost £30, a full course over either two consecutive, or two independent sessions, is £50.

Book your place via email (;, phone (Kew: 020 8940 4482; Chiswick: 020 8994 8184), or by popping into either of the shops.

Book Reading and Roussillon Tasting in Chiswick with Local Author Richard Bray

17 October 2016 by Alex

“Grab a bottle, and a glass. Pop it open. Pour… Swirl it, and don’t worry if you spill a bit. Everyone spills a bit swirling. Anyone who claims not to spill a bit swirling is a big fat liar” – Richard W H Bray, Salt & Old Vines.

RocknRolleOn Saturday the 12th of November from 3pm we will be holding a very special tasting event in the Chiswick store. Local author and assistant winemaker at Coume del Mas and Mas Cristine in the Roussillon, Richard Bray, will be visiting us to read from his book ‘Salt & Old Vines’ and to talk us through a tasting of Roussillon wines. Richard’s book is an account of his experiences during vintages in the region and is an extremely illuminating look at the realities of making wine. There will be some copies available to buy on the day – we can’t recommend it highly enough if you want to take your practical wine knowledge to the next level.

SOV CoverWe will be pouring some delicious new listings to help transport your mind to the rugged terrain of the French-Spanish border: Richard’s very own Consolation ‘Rock ‘n’ Rolle’ Vermentino and ‘Wild Boar’ Syrah, as well as our new, exclusive Roussillon wines from Domaine Paul Meunier-Centernach. Richard may bring some newly bottled extra surprises to taste as well!

Tickets for this tasting are £10 each, redeemable against any wine purchase made on the day. Please RSVP to the Chiswick store via phone (020 8 994 8184) or email to secure your place. Arrive at 3pm to grab yourself a glass of wine and Richard will begin reading at 3:30pm. Stick around after the reading to try all the wines on offer.

Read an excerpt of Salt & Old Vines here, or watch Richard’s introductory video here. We look forward to seeing you on the day!

New Product Alert – Bagnums!

28 June 2016 by Alex

Wine in a bag. Often assumed to contain wine of mediocre quality that your parents drank with prawn cocktail in the 70s.  There is, however, no reason why wine in a bag has to be bland and unexciting. We have been left behind by many other countries when it comes to embracing alternatives to the wine bottle, with many excellent quality wines available in bags or cartons in Australia, and even France!

Here at the Good Wine Shop, we recently tasted a pair of wines in a bag that were too good to miss – ladies and gentlemen, meet the Bagnum!

Grappin Blanc Bagnum

The Bagnum is the brainchild of Australian born winemaker Andrew Nielsen, who now divides his time between his home in London and his ‘micro-negociant’ (a small scale winery that buys in grapes from other people) operation in Burgundy. Under the Le Grappin label, Andrew bottles extremely high quality wines from vineyards in Savigny and Macon. When it came to his more quaffable, ‘everyday’ wines, Andrew’s passion for environmental issues led him to consider alternative packaging formats.

Andrew Emma

Andrew and Emma Nielsen

Bagnums contain a magnum’s worth of beautifully made white wine from Macon or red wine from Beaujolais, with grapes being sourced with the same care as for the winery’s top bottlings. Helen McGinn of the Daily Mail called the white ‘one of the best white wines I’ve tasted from a wine bag… a real classic, with ripe melon flavours and a touch of honey’. Not only do Bagnums carry a carbon footprint up to 80% less than the equivalent volume of bottled wine, they are around 30% cheaper too! As a bonus, the wine in a Bagnum is protected from oxygen after opening and keeps fresh for over two weeks.

We are sold on the Bagnum concept. These classily packaged, easy to carry wines are perfect for picnics and parties, and some have suggested that they will hang easily on the bedpost for a decadent breakfast in bed!

Bagnums cost £27.50 (equivalent to £13.75 a bottle) from The Good Wine Shop, we recommend you give them a try this summer – you won’t be disappointed!

Join us in the Kew store from 7pm on Thursday the 7th of July to taste these delicious wines for free with Emma Nielsen from Le Grappin!

Save Water, Drink Grower Champagne!

14 June 2016 by Derek

I’ve always believed that nothing unites people better than a good bottle of wine. A great bottle of wine can capture or enhance a special moment, and hopefully some of our wines here at The Good Wine Shop have helped inspire such experiences for you.

We work to present a selection of great wines made by great people. It doesn’t matter where it’s from, or how much it costs, every wine on our shelves has a family and a face behind it and we love to share their inspiring stories.

Keeping in that spirit, for the entire month of June we are popping corks and celebrating our favourite Champagne producers for our first ever “Grower Champagne Month” at The Good Wine Shop!

We will be hosting a series of free tasting events in Kew and Chiswick this month so you can come and discover these exciting wines for yourself!  See below for dates, and stay tuned for detailed announcements from each shop in the coming days.

“That sounds great, Derek…. But what exactly is a “Grower” Champagne?”

Grower Champagnes are produced by the same estate that owns the vineyards where the grapes are grown.   These are usually made by small producers & greatly express the terroir of their sites.   Moet & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, and Laurent Perrier are large Champagne “Houses” that buy most of their grapes from many different growers and work to blend their wines to achieve the same taste year after year, in massive quantities.  In general, they focus their efforts more on blending wines in the cellar rather than growing the grapes themselves.

“Ok…. So Why Grower Champagnes?” Grower Champagne Pic

The economical reason is that you can get more for your money in champagne when you don’t pay for the brand. Grower Champagnes can provide some of the absolute best value for money in Champagne.

From a philosophical perspective, the humble and dedicated histories of these growers fit perfectly in our spirit to celebrate the unsung heroes of all regions.  We consider ourselves storytellers at The Good Wine Shop, and these are the stories from Champagne we really want to focus on this month!

It’s not that we think these champagnes are necessarily better than big champagne houses.  I have been emotionally moved by many Champagnes from the most iconic houses.  Many Houses make great wines which express their terroir, and conversely many Growers are guilty of producing ordinary and uninteresting wines.

In some ways, it’s like comparing a rock concert at Wembley Stadium to your favourite local venue for up and coming musicians.   I’ve been known to sing along with the hits on the radio, but this month at The Good Wine Shop I am humming the tunes of the next Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, or John Lennon of the Champagne world.

I’m proud to say that we have crafted a range of outstanding wines from growers who speak to the spirit of what we are about at The Good Wine Shop.   We have even sourced a few new amazing producers to import directly to the UK.  We’re very proud to add the wines of Hubert Paulet, Varnier-Fanniere, and Michel Arnould to our already extensive selection.

So pop into any of our shops to learn more about all of these great producers, and don’t forget to add the following dates into your calendar….

Tuesday, June 14th 6:00pm – 9:00pm @ Foxlow Chiswick
“Free Champagne Tasting and BYO”

Saturday, June 25th 2:00pm – 6:00pm @ The Good Wine Shop Chiswick
“Grower Champagne Showcase!”

Sunday, June 26th 12:00pm – 6:00pm @ The Good Wine Shop Kew
“Grower Champagne Showcase and Summer Portfolio Tasting!”


We look forward to seeing you there!


Derek Morrison
Retail Manager
The Good Wine Shop
Kew, Chiswick, & Esher

Mixology May: Cocktail Trends

23 May 2016 by Alex

Mixology Slider


The cocktail trend is so fully entrenched in the contemporary bar scene that it is hard to believe that these mixed drinks were not so long ago considered the preserve of the stuffy and old fashioned.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the cocktail revival is that the very concoctions that were the least fashionable a couple of decades ago – short drinks with only a few ingredients, incorporating a bitter element – are the source of the most exciting experimentation. Cocktails such as the Negroni, Old Fashioned, and Manhattan allow bartenders to search for and showcase high quality ingredients and interesting twists on the staples they contain.


The theatrical nature of great cocktail makers and the establishments in which they work is often reflected in the ingredients themselves: characterful, beautifully packaged items with interesting provenance that offer a slight twist to a familiar flavour profile.

Categories of ingredients such as Amaro (often translated as ‘bitter’, these often taste more like a digestif with a balancing sweetness) and Vermouth are more open to interpretation than many, coming in a wide range of different variations while adding an appetising element of complexity to the cocktail in question.


Although the term cocktail implies a strong, short drink, there is just as much imagination and experimentation surrounding longer drinks that weigh in at a more friendly alcohol level.

To highlight some of the exciting new ingredients that have hit our shelves, our Chiswick store will be hosting a free cocktail evening from 5pm to 7pm on the 28th of May giving everyone the chance to try the Belsazar Vermouth range, Mondino Amaro, and Gin Sul from Hamburg. Recipes for the cocktails we will be pouring on the night can be found below, so even if you can’t make it you can try them for yourself at home!


Belsazar Rosé & Tonic

60ml Belsazar Rosé
Top with Tonic water. Build in a wine glass filled with ice & garnish with a pink grapefruit slice.

(From the 23rd of May to the 31st of August we are offering 2 free bottles of 1724 tonic with every bottle of Belsazar rosé purchased).

The Ultimate Negroni

20ml Gin Sul
20ml Belsazar Red
20ml Mondino Amaro

Stir down and serve in a tumbler with orange zest.

Summer Negroni

20ml Gin Sul
20ml Belsazar Rosé
20ml Mondino Amaro

Serve with grapefruit zest.

Riviera Spritz

25ml Belsazar White
25ml Mondino Amaro

Top with tonic water. Build in a wine glass filled with ice and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

January Sale – Out with the old in with the new!

20 January 2016 by Ben

Kick start 2016 by trying something new as part of #Tryanuary!  And there’s no better place to begin than our sale where you can find 25% off over 40 wines across our three shops. There are some fantastic bargains covering all tastes and budgets.  These wines will be snapped up quickly, so drop into your nearest The Good Wine Shop soon to avoid disappointment!

Here are just a few of the wines that will be available in the sale to inspire you…

Champagne Gratiot-Pilliere Brut Tradition NV
“Brut Tradition is based on the exceptional 2008 vintage and is aged for two years. A pretty pale gold with delicious stone fruit flavours, its both elegant and refreshing”
Was: £34.00 Sale: £25.50

A photo of a bottle of Staete Landt ViognierStaete Landt Viognier, Marlborough, New Zealand
“A lovely aromatic nose of sweet mandarins, lychees and a touch of spice. This wine’s palate is luscious and broad with attractive flavours of orange peel, marmalade, candied violets and floral notes”
Was: £20.50 Sale: £15.37

Henri Boillot, Bourgogne Chardonnay, 2011
“An elegant, pure and refined white fruit, apple and straw suffused nose leads to energetic and lightly mineral-driven flavours that possess the saline character to which Boillot referred. A lovely Bourgogne” BURGHOUND
Was: £28.00 Sale: £21.00

Etorno Retorno Bonarda, Mendoza, Argentina, 2013
“Only 3000 bottles are produced each year from 30 year old pergola-trained vines at the foot of the Andes. Flavours of cassis and fennel give way to dried figs. An intriguing wine for those looking for something new and unusual”
Was: 39.00 Sale: £29.25

The sale will ends on Sunday 31st January at 8pm.

Winter Tasting at Chiswick

25 November 2015 by Johannes

It’s getting cold outside and the nights are drawing in, so to cheer up Chiswick we will be hosting our annual winter tasting on Sunday 29 November. This year we will be showing 30 different wines from around the world, bottles will be open from 12 noon onwards.

Picture of a bottle of Philipponnat Champagne

Most people will be starting with our fabulous Champagne Gallimard Vintage 2009: a wonderfully rich Pinot Noir dominated cuvée with a dense mousse and lots of luxurious pudding fruit flavours. There will also be the super-fresh, brisk Champagne Philipponnat, a zesty Non-Dosage. For fans of drier styles of Champagne, this may well be the highlight of the tasting.

Dario from Les Caves de Pyrene will be presenting a wide selection of premium organic and biodynamic wines. Highlights include the Albert Mann Pinot Gris Cuvée Albert, a wonderfully expressive Alsatian white; the Mas de Daumas Gassac Blanc, arguably the Languedoc’s most prestigious white wine; and the elegant Foradori Rosso. A lighter-bodied red made from the Teroldego grape in the Adige Valley.

Matt from Fields, Morris & Verdin will be taking us through some special North American wines, such as the sensual Drouhin Pinot Noir from Dundee Hills in Oregon; and the aristocratic Frog’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. A rather special Nebbiolo, the Antonio Vallana Gattinara will also be open.

Picture of a bottle of Gattinara Nebbiolo

To finish, there will be an array of premium Madeiras from D’Oliveiras, including the stunning 1996 Malvasia. Nothing could be more festive and warming this time of year.

If you would like to come, drop us a line at: 020 8994 8184, or send us an email to: Hope to see all of you here on the 29th!

A Taste For Bordeaux: Bordeaux’s best kept secrets

12 November 2015 by Paul

We’ve all heard tales of sky-high prices for Clarets from the very finest properties in Bordeaux: Margaux, Pétrus, and Mouton-Rothschild are just a few of the legendary wines that most people have heard of, but few us ever actually get to try. Because they are privileged to be situated on the very best of terroir, they are able to consistently produce the best, and therefore the most expensive wines – which explains why they get all the publicity.

Photo of a Bordeaux by Philippe RoyHowever, the good news for us mere mortals is that there are in fact thousands of other producers within the Bordeaux Appellation, a region which, astonishingly, produces more wine annually than does the whole of Australia. These “Petits Châteaux” as they are known provide a happy hunting ground for affordable Bordeaux, notably in the better vintages, where due to the good weather this lesser promising terroir can produce good wines.

A glance at the map shows a plethora of satellite appellations, some relatively well-known, others rather more obscure. Names to look out for on the label include the Haut-Médoc, Listrac-Médoc, Graves, Pessac-Léognan, Lussac-St-Emilion, and Puisseguin-St-Emilion. And then there’s the five A.C.s known collectively as the Côtes-de-Bordeaux: These are the Côtes-de-Bourg, -de-Castillon, -des-Francs, – de-Blaye and -de-Cadillac. Certain wines from the Médoc have been awarded the quality mark “Cru Bourgeois” and most of these are definitely worthy of some attention.

And here’s another thing: Although Bordeaux is famed for its red wine (often referred to simply as “Claret” here in the U.K.), a wide spectrum of wine styles are produced across the region. For example, the white wines of Bordeaux range from simple bone-dry Sauvignon Blancs right the way through to the famed luscious golden pudding wines of Sauternes and Barsac.

This weekend (from Friday 13 to Sunday 15 November) we’ll be celebrating some of Bordeaux’s best kept secrets in our Esher shop. It’s a free event – just drop in!  To whet your appetite here are four of the wines you’ll be able to try:

A photo of a bottle of Chateau Lestrille Capmartin whiteChâteau Lestrille Capmartin 2012 £16.00/£14.00
This quality dry white Bordeaux is a revelation indeed. A blend of 42% Sauvignon Gris, 46% Sémillon and 12% Sauvignon Blanc, the leanness of the Sauvignon is rounded out by blending it with Sémillon, which lends weight and ripe tropical fruit notes. An additional dimension of complexity is achieved by fermentation in new oak and lees stirring. On the palate, a citrus backbone of bitter orange and grapefruit is fleshed out with mango and lychee flavours, accompanied by hints of ginger and vanilla spice, plus touches of acacia honey.

Château Lyonnat, Lussac-St-Emilion 2006 £16.00/£14.00
Old-vine Merlot in a classic style from the small village of Lussac-Saint-Emilion. The 2006 is at its peak right now with a deep, rich palate of dark berry fruits.

Château Vieux Robin, Cru Bourgeois, Médoc, 2006 £16.00/£14.00
From a small family owned property with just 18 hectares of vines situated at the far northern end of the Médoc.  A blend of around 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot the wine spends a year being aged in a mix of new and  second-year barrels.

Château Plince, Pomerol, 2011 £40.00/£36.00
Farmed by the Moreau family for four generations, the vines on this estate are mainly Merlot, accompanied by 25% Cabernet Franc. This is a classic, elegant Pomerol, opening up upon aeration to reveal flavours and aromas of wood spice, cocoa and fruity cassis, underpinned by rounded tannins.

Bordeaux Chateau image by Philippe Roy courtesy of CIVB “A Taste For Bordeaux”

Esher’s Winter Wine Festival

8 November 2015 by Sarah

If you’re looking for inspiration for the best bottle to go with your festive fayre or would just like the chance to taste some wonderful wines – the place to be is the Winter Wine Festival at our Esher Shop on Sunday 22 November.

A photo of a bottle of Tignanello 2011For many customers the highlight in the line up of 30 wines will probably be the iconic Tignanello 2011 from Antinori. The Antinori family has been making wine for over six hundred years (twenty six generations), since 1385. Tignanello first appeared in 1971. It immediately caused a stir as Cabernet Sauvignon was blended with Sangiovese and with its practice of ageing in small French barriques. Antinori was accused of vinous heresy but other producers across Tuscany soon adopted these practices too. The 2011 vintage is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. Italian wine expert Antonio Gallioni of gave it 95 points out of a 100 and called it “An exotic wine that captures the essence of the year, the 2011 is endowed with magnificent complexity, nuance and class.” 

A photo of a bottle of Veuve Fourny Blanc de Blancs 2009The wine with which I’m most eager to be reacquainted is probably Gaja’s Brunello di Montalcino ‘Pieve di Santa Restituta’, 2010 which is a mouthful of a name but more than makes up for that by being a wonderous mouthful of wine. I’m also looking forward to re-tasting the Tappa Pass Shiraz 2010 from Barossa legends Henschke and the brilliant Blancs de Blancs 1er Cru Vintage 2009 Champagne from Veuve Fourny & Fils.

I’m also pleased that guests will get to try the brand new, limited edition (just 840 bottles), sloe gin from our most local distillery, Becketts, in Kingston-upon-Thames. We’ll be joined all afternoon by Neil Beckett, the passionate producer of this great winter warmer and our customers’ favourite London Dry Gin.

We’ll be popping the corks at noon and tasting through until 5pm.

You really won’t want to miss this event. As we only have limited spaces don’t delay your booking. Tickets are £15 in advance or £20 on the door…if we have room!  Email us or give us a call on 01372 877272 to reserve a place.