With 30 branches spread throughout Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire and Yorkshire, Edwin Booth’s eponymous family chain has rightly been called ‘the respectable face of British supermarkets’ for as firm a commitment to producers as to customers. The small is beautiful link between its Holme Farm venison, Johnson and Swarbrick poultry and Mrs Kirkham Lancashire cheese extends to the many family growers that populate its wine range.
It’s an enjoyably sobering experience taking a group on a wine walk at one of our Wine Gang winter festivals before Christmas; enjoyable because it gives a genuine insight into consumer tastes and sobering at the thought that consumer likes and dislikes are as varied as those of Jack and Mrs Spratt. Despite healthy disagreements though, a number of wines are greeted with unanimous transports of delight.
In Wine, Women and Good Hope: a history of scandalous behaviour in the Cape, June McKinnon tells the salacious history of Cape Town. Was it 36 of their descendants then who came over to seduce us at such a mouthwateringly salacious New Wave South Africa tasting? The thrill and energy of the wines summed up what the growers justifiably called a ‘tangible sense of camaraderie, talent, youth and openness’.