Every neighbourhood should be served by an exciting, innovative independent wine shop or two. I am really fortunate to live in north west Hampshire and have Caviste nearby, with shops in Overton, Odiham and Hungerford. Founded by David Thomas, now of Bordeaux Index, it has both supplied a range of excellent, sometimes quirky, wines and taken its role seriously in terms of wine education. One of the wine circles to which I belong is the Overton BBC (‘bring a bottle club’ of course) which is a group of professionals and very keen amateurs who taste all the wines blind. The common factor in the group is an association with Caviste. The business is now run by Ben Llewellyn (Carte Blanche wines) and is developing additional strengths with the wines of small growers, especially in France and Spain, many of whom are in biodynamic and organic production. Ben’s selections feature regularly in Decanter magazine and on Jancis Robinson’s website.
In the spring of 2013 Ben asked me to start writing opinion pieces for Caviste’s regular newsletter. From now on most of them will be found from this page: