Berrys wins wine Oscars


International Wine Challenge – Wine Merchant of the Year; Direct Merchant of the Year and Rhône Specialist of the Year
Online Wine Merchant of the Year

Tim, Simon, Charlie and Rebecca

The excitement has almost lowered to a low buzz following our success in last week’s wine awards.

On Tuesday night (1st September) was hailed as THE best wine website at the Decanter World Wine Awards – and rightly so! Website Manager, Charlie Bennett, works tirelessly (and relentlessly) to constantly improve and evolve the site which Decanter describes as: “…setting a benchmark for wine retailing around the world…” They particularly identified this blog and our use of Twitter during this year’s Bordeaux En Primeur campaign as ‘exciting’ features.

The website was recognised further at the International Wine Challenge on Wednesday evening (2nd), when we received the ‘Direct’ Merchant of the Year Award, but more on that later…

On arrival to the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, the venue for the IWC Awards, Berrys’ representatives Rebecca Lamont, Simon Field MW and Charlie Bennett were requested for a photo shoot and presentation of certificates (see above). At this stage we found out we had won En Primeur Merchant of the Year, Rhône Specialist of the Year and been highly commended for Regional Merchant (London), Bordeaux Specialist and Burgundy Specialist – great start! My colleague Emily (the bastion of this blog) and I were greeted by the wine trade’s now infamous double act Charles Metcalfe and Tim Atkin MW. Despite our job normally just involving time-keeping and bag-holding, Tim insisted he had his photograph taken with us. We are, what he describes as, the best PR on the telephone (see below). Is that like saying we have faces for radio? Best not dwell on that…so I just had another slug of my Charles Heidseck fizz which had now warmed nicely by the oppressive heat of the room.

Vicky, Tim and Emily

Soon after, the main event kicked off in dramatic style with lucky finalists swooping down the grand staircase to rapturous applause. Now it was time to reveal the rest of the prestigious Wine Merchant Awards. There were 13 categories and Berrys was shortlisted for Direct Merchant of the Year and Wine Educator…
…Fending off nine competitors including Waitose and Majestic, we were crowned Direct Merchant of the Year for and our marketing collaterol and received a highly commended certificate for Wine Educator.

Winning one out of 13 is awards didn’t prepare us to be crowned Wine Merchant of the Year ahead of the likes of Marks & Spencer and Majestic who had won other categories. Berrys’ buyer Simon Field MW was as shocked as we were and when he heard his name he wove his way through the crowd to collect the golden gong. This is the ultimate wine Oscar and one we hadn’t won for a couple of years so it was wonderful to be recognised as the best of the best.

Dinner was served and the celebrating commenced into the early hours.