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Rumour has it that Richard was once held hostage by a fearsome, rampantly coiffured, Bulgarian countess and forced to drink his way through her wine cellar amongst chains, whippings and custard creams. How he escaped her evil clutches involved a bottle of local chardonnay and some squirty cream. (I may not have recorded all the specifics correctly, I have to admit.)

Some say that Richard’s cohort in the running of DropWines was trained by a Japanese Geisha in the mystical arts of seduction, power brokering and sashimi slicing. They also say her love of driving fast cars in spiky stilettos, stems from a period of being a Stasi double agent while residing in East Berlin. Of course one should never believe idle gossip and rumour mongering. But where there is fire and all that…

What Richard and Sophie have certainly done is create a very interesting wine list for new internet wine merchant Drop Wines. Have you ever heard of a sparkling Picpoul for example? It may just be the only one ever produced, but here again one relies on hearsay.

Cote Mas Sparkling Pic Poul

Dry, apply and nicely bubbly Cote Mas Piquepoul Frizante NV is being touted as a Prosecco alternative. Personally the freshness, the edge of savouriness and pure drinkability makes you wonder why no one else makes similar. Perfect as an aperitif and summer drink; in short just like a Prosecco. At just £8.99 a bottle (£7.99 if you join the DropWine VIP club), damn good value.

“To us, it had all the fresh floral and lightly fruited charm of Prosecco but with an edge of salinity from the Picpoul de Pinet, which gives it somehow a slightly more serious air and a slight savoury edge. A true delight and a must for any sparkling fan.” Drop Wines

DropWines is a fully backed start-up company. An idea that came to fruition with trading initiating in January 2013.

“Our ethos is to innovate and educate customers, taking them on a journey of discovery as part of our story. We focus on delivering quality and providing enjoyment for everyone. DropWines offers 7-10 clearly displayed “wines of the week” appealing to time-short consumers and those who fear the ‘looming wall of wine’. We offer a more extensive ‘core range’ for those who have more time to browse or more specific requirement.”

In addition to the sparkling Picpoul slip a bottle of the Gold Medal winning Bioca Godello Seleccion 2012 (£12.99/£10.86 VIP) into the shopping basket. For the ‘in crowd’ Godello is one of ‘the’ grape varieties of the moment. Versatile and often more interesting than a Sauvignon Blanc, there is a little more weight, deeper peachy flavours, coupled with a streak of citrus freshness that makes it more complex and exciting than many a SB.

If you happen to have a game bird residing on your dinner plate (oh, the laughs that ensued on twitter over ‘game birds’!) a bottle of Mas de Boislauzon, Cotes du Rhone Villages, 2011, (£11.33/£12.99VIP) would be a mighty fine accompaniment. The wine is produced in tiny quantities – apparently just 140 cases with 25 going to DropWines. Superb balance and depth of flavour; my scribbled notes mention a hint of liquorice coupled with spice-dusted black fruits. Very stylish.

For me DropWines has a couple of issues – I hate the need to register and log-in to view the site and wines and you have to be fully committed with a £10 monthly VIP Club subscription to get the best prices. I got terribly annoyed in trying to order single bottles of many wines (prices listed as per bottle but minimum ordering quantity being 6 bottles). Such things might not bother others. Time-strapped wine lovers will relish the ease of the ‘wines of the week’ ordering simplicity for example.

Further expansion is slowly being revealed; links with an internet food retailer is rumoured which could be very interesting. There are also reports that they are to employ me as roving New World product sourcer. Just a shame not all rumours are true.

4 Comments »

  1. Matthew Leonard says:

    Just to correct a few minor points: Dropwines do offer the opportunity to buy bottles of wine singly with the same savings as the case discounts. You can either choose your own or have one created for you.

    I find the website very user-friendly; and I only had to pay £5 a month for VIP club status. I do prefer the whole concept of dropwines to naked wines ehich I had the misfourtune fo joining via a voucher from an Amazon order. Dropwines treat you an intelligent human being, not a kid.

    • Glad you find drop wines so good. Is VIP only a fiver? They told me it was a Tenner…

      As for single bottle purchases when I strolled through the site several wines I liked the look of only let me order six bottle lots, despite listing a single bottle price. I probably didn’t make it clear that not all wines are listed like this, many are indeed as you say, available by the bottle.

  2. dropwines says:

    We initially offered bottles that you could only order in 6 packs but moving with customer feedback and our improved logistics it’s now possible to mix and match to buy bottles individually if you order in a total quantity of six. Matthew you were lucky with your £5 subscription – we offered that to a select random few when we were testing the initiative, but it is now £10 a month. Delighted that you are happy with our service!

  3. Ah, what a fun evening that was! Love the potted & reimagined history of the Richard & Sophie ;) That sparkling Picpoul was a total revelation!

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