the forum

10 April, 2009

To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e mail:


Q My ancient pricing gun has finally given out. Should I replace it or is my assistant right

to say that price stickers look cheap on wine?

A I'm with your assistant. In my experience

labels come off glass all too easily, and when they're applied to the label they spoil the design or obscure the text. A simple price ticket on the shelf is all you need, and it's easier t o change if you're doing a promotion .

Martin, Shropshire

A I've started creating

cardboard tags for my wines, secured to the neck by brown string . I write a short tasting note

and include the price. Customers have quickly realised that there's only one of these tags per bin, so they select wines which don't have one . The barcode, and my Epos system, do the rest. Why fiddle around with 1980s-style pricing guns?

Geoff, Ox on

Q I recently ran my first tutored tasting evening, for 12 or so people. Despite my efforts, nobody ordered anything. Is this unusual?

A I think you can count yourself a little unlucky here.

You have to ask yourself if you chose the right wines, and did a

good job of selling them. You

have to be selective about the

people you invite to these events -

and distinguish the freeloaders from the


Make people pay for their tickets or restrict admission to high-spending clients.

BH, Devon


This has happened to me on a number of occasions.

Some of the people who came along may well come back and buy some of the wines you were tasting in their own time .

Chloe, London

Q I want to brighten up my website with pictures of my wines and spirits, and the shop itself. How much should I

spend on a digital camera?

Mohammed, Lancs

Q How come grotty shops which specialise in cheap cider, pornography and toilet rolls are allowed to have signs outside saying "wine merchant"?

Gary, Oldham

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When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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