Thursday, 26 March 2009

Perhaps London's most interesting Wine Merchant?

The unpromising name is 'Wine of Course' and the less than pukka address is 216 Archway Road, London N6 5AX (0208 347 9006) but make no mistake this is one of the most exciting wine shops in the world and probably the most interesting in London. Why? Because it is the only importer of 'Vins Naturels' and most of their range is not available anywhere else in the UK.

We bought

Melon de Bougogne which is actually from Burgundy (and not Muscadet)

Emmanuel Houillon Poulsard Arbois Pupilin Jura (which we had only ever encountered at Le verre vole in Paris)

Domaine le Briseau Les Longues Vignes Coteaux du Loir (Pineau d'Aunis)

Domaine Causse Marines Vin De Table “Rasdu” Gaillac South-West France (90% Duras, 10%Syrah)

Domaine Causse Marines GRAIN DE FOLIE DOUCE Doux Gaillac South-West France (Muscadelle, Ondenc, Mauzac, Loin de L’œil, Semillon)

Terra Tangra Medos Mavrud Merlot Cabernet Sakar Bulgaria (Mavrud, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon)

Apart from the Bulgarian red with a majority of Mavrud which is unknown to us, these wines were not cheap at an average of about £15 but having samples only the extremely rare Melon de Bourgogne we are sure each bottle will be a treat (hope springs eternal). There is a generous range of wines under £10 which we will have to explore.

The Patron is unusually a Bulgarian gentleman called Plamen Georgiev. He is charming, knowledgeable and clearly a man of ideas - great ones at that. He has an offer for a case of 100% Natural Wines (6 wines to a case) at 50% discount on joining his Zelas Natural Wine Club. Therafter he will select six bottles of Natural Wine every couple of months and deliver it free of charge. The pressure is taken off by his promise to notify club members well in advance of delivery so they can cancel rather than having to send the case back. You don't even have an obligation to take any more cases after buying your initial case (with 50% off). We saw no mention of a joining fee.

Plamen is already having an impact on North London at least. He relates how his customers curse him for having introduced them to Vins Naturels because now they can drink nothing else! We think this initiative deserves to flourish. is the efficient website.

all the above wines are

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