Published 4 July 2012
How do you choose which wines to buy? Truth is, unless you put some effort in to finding a wine writer who has your kind of palate, then taking recommendations from any individual is pretty hit-and-miss.
Or maybe you’re a wine expert? In which case, you know hard it is to answer the frequently asked question “so, what should I buy?” without boring everybody.
During a weekend with some friends, a mate suggested that I put my own case together: pick 12 good wines and market them as “The Bigpinots case“. A nice idea, but it still didn’t solve the problem of some people having different tastes from me, so the idea sat gathering dust until I discussed it with Tara O’Leary and Andrew Barrow one evening. Following a few brain-storming conversations, we found ourselves pitching our idea to the newly re-launched Oddbins: give us free rein in one of your stores, and we’ll select 12 bottles for a blogger-branded case.
Emma Nichols (Head of Buying at Oddbins) loved the idea from the outset. Emma says, “This is a great opportunity for us to work with people who have a fresh, customer-focused perspective on wine writing. We’re so excited that they want to be involved in this new, exciting chapter for Oddbins.”
So, on a Monday afternoon in May, Tara, Andrew and I (along with Paola Tich, Belinda Stone and Tom Lewis) met in an Oddbins store in London SW11, pulling wines off shelves like kids in a sweet shop and narrowing down our selection to just 12 bottles. The aim was for each of us to find a red and a white that we were happy to recommend; the hard part was getting the other five bloggers to agree that those bottles were worthy of being part of our joint case. But, finally, after a long afternoon, we had our final selection. (Yes, that’s just one example of how I suffer for the benefit of others).
After a bit more work – getting some excellent caricatures drawn by Bill & Ben and writing some words for the Oddbins website – we went live with the Wine Bloggers’ Case this week.
But I’d like to stress that this is not about selling a case of wine; it’s about six independent bloggers recommending a case of varied wines and encouraging you to discuss them with us.
It’s pretty simple:
- Go to the Oddbins site and buy the Wine Bloggers’ Case (12 bottles for £98 including delivery)
- Drink a bottle of the wine
- Talk to us about it: did you like/hate it? Was it great/horrible with [insert your meal here]? What did you think of our tasting note? Or maybe you want to ask some questions before you drink it? Whatever you want to talk about, you can discuss it via our joint Facebook page or with each of us on Twitter (I’m @bigpinots),
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you run out of wine (then go back to step 1).
- Look forward to hearing from you.