In these testing times there are still local businesses that will deliver wine directly to you

These are challenging times for us all and, while it may seem trivial to some, there are many people ensuring they have enough stocks of wine to sustain them through the coming weeks, and maybe even months.
Aurelio Montes makes beautiful wines on both sides the AndesAurelio Montes makes beautiful wines on both sides the Andes
Aurelio Montes makes beautiful wines on both sides the Andes

In a remarkable move, off-licence shops have now been deemed to be part of our essential services. However, many retailers have closed their doors and are operating online only with deliveries being made by their own vans or by national carriers.

Quite understandably, some businesses have decided not to continue working, including the Wine Society, which closed its doors and order books over a week ago. Mail order companies such as Laithwaites have also closed, perhaps on a temporary basis, while some major retailers such as Majestic have relaunched their websites and delivery service after a break.

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The real change has been the way that independent retailers have swung into action, in particular our own Yorkshire merchants who have been in business for many years and who are now at the front line of providing well-chosen wine to their regular customers and to hundreds of new clients.

Keep some Mcon in stock for long sunny lunches.Keep some Mcon in stock for long sunny lunches.
Keep some Mcon in stock for long sunny lunches.
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Martinez has seen a sharp rise in orders, and the reaction of new customers has been remarkable. “If customers order before midday, there is a chance that we can get the order out the same day, although that isn’t guaranteed, but we will do our best,” added Jonathan. Local deliveries are generally within a 10-mile radius of the shops and there is no physical contact between delivery driver and the customer.

But is there any chance that our local merchants will sell all their wine outside Yorkshire, leaving locals with a limited choice? “Absolutely not,” said Jonathan. “Our own suppliers have become extremely flexible and are delivering to us on a much more regular basis. We are maintaining stocks and fulfilling orders.”

The Martinez website is up and running at

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Bon Coeur Fine Wines in Melsonby, near Richmond, has also shut its on-site shop but is continuing to make deliveries locally and nationally. “We are absolutely adhering to the Covid-19 protocols for safe working,” said Sam Goodhart, of Bon Coeur. It is also taking orders online, by email and over the phone, and is delivering locally and nationally. “Our own vans are taking deliveries out every day, and we are really happy to leave wine in designated places to avoid any contact with customers.” Bon Coeur also has a national carrier who is managing to deliver from Yorkshire to all corners of the UK on an almost overnight basis.

Check out the Bon Coeur website at or ring them on 01325 776446.

So if you are planning to stock up for the next few weeks, what should you choose?

The first thing to remember is that there will be no big family gatherings for quite a while, so tailor your order to the bottles you and your household want to drink. And if you have managed to get your food ordered and a delivery slot arranged, maybe it is time to think about a little food and wine matching.

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Top choices from Bon Coeur include the fabulous, fresh peach and pineapple flavours of Mr Goose Chardonnay 2018 from the rolling hills of the Eden Valley in South Australia (£9.60). Add in a bottle or two of Lembranzas Albariño 2018 from Rías Baixas in Galicia which will go perfectly with grilled fish dishes, and top up with Cave Talmard Mâcon-Montbellet 2018 (£15.40) for long sunny lunches which will start to become a habit as this situation continues.

Recommended reds from Bon Coeur include the serious, fruit forward flavours of Bodega Classica Hacienda Lopez Crianza Rioja 2016 (£9.89). Do not get distracted by the fact that there are cheaper Crianza Riojas out there. This is fine quality and being just Crianza level means that the oak is finely balanced and the wine will go happily with a simple supper or a roast lamb lunch.

Top up with Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 from Argentina, made by Chilean producer Aurelio Montes who has developed his vineyards on both sides of the Andes and manages to make beautiful wines in both locations. This has purity of fruit and style, with smooth blackcurrant flavours and a structure that partners steak and roast beef perfectly.

Make sure you add a few bottles of Pinot Noir into the mix, on the grounds that it goes with so many foods, from grilled salmon to roast duck. Esk Valley 2017 from New Zealand comes from blustery sites in the Wairau and Awatere Valleys where cool temperatures and long sunny days produce grapes packed with bright, vibrant, juicy, red berry fruit.

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This is also the ideal time to sort out your wine rack and deal with anything that has been lurking too long at the back. Any wine that came from a school fête more than a year ago is probably not on your favourites list, so put it close to the stove and open it when you need some flavour for a sauce or a stew.

First taste it and decide whether it will enhance your dinner in a glass or if it needs to be poured into the gravy.

The same goes for wines that arrived with dinner guests. If they have been in that rack for a year or more, they are either extremely precious or perhaps not worth the space they are taking up. Clear them out and make better use of the space.

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

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