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For a long time, I've been conscious that beer has been hogging the limelight at Thirsty. With a team that was closer to the world of beer than wine, it's no surprise that we've ended up with such a stratospherically sexy beer selection. But we've always maintained a carefully chosen range of wine - leaning more and more towards the 'natural' side as time has gone by (especially at King Street). And, let's not forget, I may love great beer, but I love great wine even more (I'll whisper that very quietly to the beer fraternity)...
In the last few weeks, I've been unleashing a purchasing blitz upon the UK's importers of the grape, with the result that we've already doubled the number of wines to nearly 200 and will continue to broaden that further. To summarise what we're aiming for, we've simultaneously beefed up our selection at lower prices that you can enjoy every day, while adding a cornucopia of interesting, quirky - often weird and funky - wines right across the park. Whatever you're looking for and whatever you have to spend, you can be 100% sure that any wine you buy from Thirsty will come from real people who are passionate about wine-making (not marketing) and respectful to the world all around us.
I do not seek to replicate what other retailers can offer you. Thirsty is not the place to seek bargain-basement, bland-brand fruit juice, nor cellars full of dusty claret. I want our wines to always display a sense of character and personality - and to convey the reality that wine can be accessible, fun and interesting. Even to beerheads.
To help you navigate this new line-up, we've put together *13 new* #Thirstyforwine mixed cases, where we've done all the hard work of choosing for you *and dropped our trousers on the price a bit more*. It may not sound like hard graft, but I'm deadly serious when I say that we put in a lot of hard yards on the tasting and selection front before we choose a single wine to sell to you lot. I first started farting about in wine when I worked at Oddbins during my university holidays back in 1991. I spent several months in Bordeaux and Germany during my languages course year abroad in 1993, lived in Cape Town for 5 months in 2002, before finally setting up my own wine business Le Verre Gourmand in France in 2005 (which continues to this day). I've tasted (and drunk) a hell of a lot of wine. So I think you really can trust me to pick out only the good stuff for all you fine Thirsty slurpers.
I'm mega excited about this upping of the wine ante and about these mixed cases in particular. Sure, there are some more regular selections in there like the everyday 'Tous les Jours' (available in 6- or 12-bottle packs). But there are some fantastically unusual picks in there, too. Have a look at the 'New New World', for example - 6 brilliant wines from S Africa, Oz & NZ that will show you how these countries have moved on from blockbuster sunshine bombs. 'Pet Nat Party' will introduce you to the sexiest style of fizz on the market today - Pet(illant) Nat(urel). 'Gagging for Gamay' shows you why this most feminine of grapes is so lovely. 'Skin in the Game' takes you through the increasingly popular world of so-called 'orange' wines, where you leave the juice of white grapes to ferment with the skins. Beerheads even have their own case - 'Wines for Beerheads'. The list goes on. The best thing to do is to cruise over to the Mixed Cases category and have a look through - there's a short intro about each selection when you click on each case. And as an intro carrot, you'll get an extra 5% off these cases - meaning you save 10% on bottle prices with a 6-pack and 15% with a 12-pack. Bish bash bosh.
But I'm not stopping there. Oh no, sirree. We'll continue to add more and more interesting wines to the range at all price points. We kickstart our new online wine events with a chitchat to Justin Howard-Sneyd - the man behind The Bee-Side - at 6pm this Tuesday 12 May on Instagram Live. We'll be announcing details of online tastings later this week and sharing a rather exciting plan to launch a new online wine course (that ain't like yer usual wine courses or schools - not a chance). More on that in due course. Cheers all - Sam