Berry Bros. & Rudd at a… car boot sale?


Wine Club Car Boot founder, Ruth Spivey (image:

Wine Club Car Boot founder, Ruth Spivey (image:

Fear not, this isn’t a sign of straightened times – but rather a new venture for our wine team. This Sunday, we will be taking a selection of our most interesting and classic bottles to Wine Car Boot: an event for independent merchants in London. Here, we talk to the project’s founder, Ruth Spivey.

How did the idea for Wine Car Boot come about?
For a while I had wanted to organise a tasting for the public to support and promote independent shops. There wasn’t anything like that out there – and there was definitely a feeling that people were still a little intimidated to go into wine shops over the supermarket. I also wanted an event where people can not only buy on the day but also know exactly where to get the wine from again, without having to order online or in bulk. It’s about making the tasting side of it fun, so we have music and delicious street food alongside, and the shopping part easy and accessible.

How many people come to Wine Car Boot?
We have 17 shops coming along this weekend. The first had seven, the second one 10, and now 17, so we are growing! It’s great that so many shops are keen to be involved. We expect over 500 people to attend, fingers crossed!

Having a company as old and established as Berry Bros. & Rudd at the event is an interesting one. How do you think people will react?
I think everyone will be pleasantly surprised and impressed to see one of the most traditional long standing wine merchants getting involved in a contemporary, informal and fun event. It will hopefully show that although Berry Bros. have a long and valued history, they have their eyes firmly on the future and move with the times.

What’s the most exciting wine you’ve come across through Wine Car Boot?
I hardly get to taste anything there as I am too busy running about – although I do remember one from the last Car Boot called Daphne from Tuscany, brought by D Vine Cellars. It was deliciously aromatic – and an orange wine as well, which isn’t normally something I would like or drink. I think they are bringing it again this time – it was so popular.

Do you think wine consumers are becoming an increasingly savvy bunch?
Very much so. Wine has become a regular feature of people’s lives, which we have to thank the supermarkets for in part. Just as consumers are much more knowledgeable about food and other drinks such as coffee, the interest in wine seems to be on the up. People are more interested in what they are drinking, about making better purchasing decisions. There’s been a spate of new wine bars and shops opening all over London too which reflect this increase in demand, especially amongst the younger crowd. It’s no longer the preserve of the rich, old or serious. Wine is for everyone.

We love the ‘taste your way out of the supermarket’ idea: what do you think are the most common ‘wine ruts’ people fall into, and how do you try and inspire them to drink differently?
All sorts of things – mostly buying the same few bottles over and over again. The best way to get people to change their habits and try new things is to offer tastes – difficult in a supermarket but of course this is where the independents have an advantage. Good modern branding always helps, friendly staff and being clear about a wine’s story. People love a story, something to remember and talk about, it gives the wine more character.

What’s chilling in your fridge at the moment?
Nothing! I am rarely at home and drink and taste more than enough out and about! That said, I always have lots of samples knocking about and I do have a bottle of proper Limoncello in the freezer…

What’s next for Wine Car Boot?
I have lots of ideas for different variations – with producers perhaps rather than shops, or collectors. It would be nice to expand out of London too, whether that be to different cities in the UK – or even abroad. We’ll see though. I want to go on holiday after this and not think about wine or car parks for a bit!

Come along and visit us at Wine Car Boot this Sunday 8 June, from noon until 6pm, at King’s Cross, London (