Published:  05 October, 2007

David Wood

The Wine Shop,

Leek, Staffor


Your shop is burning down, what

do you grab as you leg it out the door?

The cash, obviously; our very last bottle of the first whisky we bottled under our own label, The Queen of the Moorlands Rare Cask Single Cask Single Malts, a 35 Year Old Strathisla 1969; and a tasting glass to drown my sorrows.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of opening a wine shop?

Have a sound business plan and go for it. Have a point of difference and specialise - don't try to do everything.

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

What you know to get your business going, then who you know to build on it.

You can't survive with knowledge alone or contacts alone.

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

We're still growing our business so we'd see it as a great opportunity to buy more casks of whisky to mature for our Queen of the Moorlands range of single malts.

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise your friends.

I was head choirboy at school.

Is there such a thing as an irresponsible drink?

Any drink can be irresponsible if it is marketed and packaged in a way that encourages under-age drinking or drinking to excess.

After a hard day's work, what drink do you kick back and relax with?

A good old Islay malt whisky. No other whiskies speak so much of the place

they originate from. They remind me of the great times we've had on the island, including helping out at Bunnahabhain Distillery during festival week.

Is cider over ice a marketing hype?

I guess it is but it has certainly proved a success.

If you could be reincarnated, would you still work in the drinks industry?

Definitely. When I had a "proper job" I didn't look forward to getting up on a Monday morning the way I do now. We're really lucky to be able to enthuse about our wines and whiskies to people who are buying quality products because they appreciate them.

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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
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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know