We are proud to announce that MWH Wine, the home of affordable fine wine, has been awarded three more medals by Wine-Searcher. This year we have won Gold for our Portuguese list, Silver for our European list, and a Bronze for our Overall list.
In the words of Wine-Searcher, the awards are aimed at ‘Recognizing the best…to reward stores with truly excellent price lists, put together by great wine buyers and their teams. To win an award a merchant needs to show:
- A wide range of high-quality wines or spirits based on critics’ scores.
- Significant depth and breadth across regions.
- Consistency throughout the year.
With 37,978 stores listed on Wine-Searcher's global database, competition even at a regional level is stiff and we are delighted to have once again been awarded these prestigious wine awards.
To mark this latest success, we spoke to MWH Wine’s founder and buyer Mike Hall to gain his reaction and to discover what lays behind his many years of success.
First, Mike, congratulations on another set of Wine-Searcher Awards, you must be pleased.
I’m delighted. This is the fifth year in succession that we’ve been recognised. Unlike many wine awards these days, Wine-Searcher’s are free and independent. They make their selections based on their opinions and those of their users. To be eligible for an award you need at least a 4-star rating (ours is 4.5).
To me, these awards are a reflection of our service to our customers, and winning another set of medals tells me we’re doing something right!
This is the latest set of awards for MWH Wines, what’s the secret of your success?
I don’t think we have a secret, really. We just look to offer a traditional wine merchant service, albeit from an online store rather than a physical one. First and foremost, we’re wine lovers. Everyone involved in MWH loves wine and wants to share that passion be it through offering great value wines or through sharing our wine knowledge on our blog.
You’ve been awarded the Best Portuguese list again, that must have been gratifying.
We’re known as vintage Port specialists. Jancis Robinson MW was kind enough to say that we are “An exceptional source of mature ports” in the FT. Over the past year we’ve extended our Portuguese list to include Madeira, and we have plans to list some of the outstanding table wines that are being produced by leading Port producers such as Kopke. It’s an exciting time for Portuguese wines, and we’re looking to build our list further.
The awards recognise stores that have “a wide range of high-quality wines or spirits based on critics’ scores”. Are scores important in your buying decisions?
It depends on the wine. In regions like Bordeaux and Burgundy the market is still heavily influenced by the likes of Robert Parker. Wines with high scores do make for useful additions to the list, but if you bought on the basis of 100-point scores you’d soon find yourself with an extremely expensive list. This is something that rather flies in the face of our motto of being ‘The home of affordable fine wines.’
In the main I buy what I know to be good, what I like, and what I think is well-priced. When it comes to my personal passions – Port and Madeira – critics scores don’t influence me at all. I’ve done this for long enough to know what’s worth buying.
The team won a medal for its European list. Which areas have you seen most customer interest in, in the past year?
Red Bordeaux has been exceptionally strong for us. A run of high-profile, high-quality Bordeaux vintages has driven demand ever higher. Burgundy has been strong too. The top wines are getting harder to find and afford, but there are fantastic wines out there if you know where to look. The Givry 1er Cru Les Grandes Berges 2016, Domaine Tatraux is an excellent example of the value Burgundy offers when you move away from the Cote d’Or.
Vintage Port has remained a mainstay of our business and its been good to see how well our Madeira range has taken off. One of the team is as passionate about Madeira as I am Port and the vintage Madeira do sit well on our list.
2022: Which awards do you have your eye on?
I’ll just be thrilled if we’re winners again next year. If I were to be granted a wish I’d probably say it would be lovely to be specifically noted for our red Bordeaux list again. We’ve worked hard and invested heavily in this area over the past year or so and sought to offer as many affordable fine wines as we can. We’ve bought a lot of Caronne St Gemme, for example, a wine that’s come along in leaps and bounds since the turn of the millennium, and vintages like the 2015, 2016 and 2018 are superb and offer fantastic value for money.
Well good luck for next year, Mike, and well done again.
Like Some Fine Wine Help?
If you are looking for a specific wine then please get in touch by calling Mike on 0118 984 4654 or by emailing MWH Wines here. A recognised authority, he’ll be happy to advise you on which wine is right for you.