Belfast Telegraph uncorks global award

Crossgar-based wine merchant has been recognised as one of Britain and Ireland's best specialist retailers at the prestigious International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards 2009.

The competition, judged by a panel of international experts including Saturday Kitchen contributor Tim Atkin, is the largest wine contest in the world and is viewed as a bellwether for the world's finest vineyards and merchants.

Supplying over 2,300 restaurants and hotels across Ireland, retained the title of Regional Merchant of the Year for Northern Ireland at the awards which took place at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Managing Director James Nicholson said the award was a testament to the hard work of his team during a challenging year.

“The International Wine |Challenge identifies the very best players in the wine industry and the standards by which other companies measure themselves,” he explained.

“We treasure our independence and our ability to meet the most discerning of customer needs. We know our wines and our wine makers personally and offer |quality wines to suit every taste and every budget.”

Mr Nicholson continued: “There's no doubt that consumers have less to spend these days, but few seem willing to give up the pleasure of enjoying a good bottle of well-priced wine. We've responded by tailoring to their demands particularly through our direct online service.”

Offering a choice of more than 1,000 specially-selected varieties, the website allows customers to quickly search through Ireland's largest wine list by region, variety and vintage and has played a key role in growing the company's |direct sales offering.

Mr Nicholson said the simply designed, safe-to-use site was the secret to its success: “The investment in the website has been an important milestone for us. We've poured all our wine-savvy into it, making the portal as detailed, |vibrant and user-friendly as |possible.

Belfast Telegraph