10 April, 2009



Rai Wine Shop


It's our round - what are you having?

I'll have a pint or two of Koppaberg Mixed Fruit cider please.

What's the most unusual thing that has happened in your shop?

We once had a regular customer who got hit by a bus crossing the main road outside the shop, got off the

ground, walked into the shop, bought a bottle of whisk y and walked back home, while the bus driver and passengers looked at the broken windscreen on the bus in astonishment.

If you were a drink, what drink would you be?

I would be a Directors Bitter - it's the best bitter around.

What's the most under-rated and over-rated wine in the UK market?

Over-rated is Chardonnay. Under-rated in my humble opinion is Trebbiano d'Abruzzo

- it is such a nice wine from the best winemaking area of Italy.

How do you deal with irritating customers?

We have a smelly woman who comes in and we just try to hold our breath, serve her and pray that she makes a sharp exit.

If your profits doubled tomorrow, how would you spend the money?

I think I would shut up shop and go to the Caribbean for two months.

If you could swap jobs with anyone for one day, who would it be?

Madonna because she's always falling about everywhere.

What's more important, what you know or who you know?

What you know - being a knowledgable chap in our business can give you a distinctive competitive advantage.

If you could have three wishes to improve your working day what would they be?

I wish I could play squash every day, go on a date with a nice lady every day and only had to work one hour every day.

What do you wish you had known when you started out as a retailer?

That it is so stressful, seven days a week with long hours and red tape. Then perhaps I would have had a cushy 9 -5 office job.

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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
total a

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know