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Tim’s James Pettit Blog 2014

17th December, 2013

New Beginnings

Times have changed since James Pettit & Company Wine Merchant came into being in 1737, but some things don’t…. It is that time of year when we all breathe a sigh after the hectic nature of the festive season and review our successes and where we could improve. A chance to take a look at the year ahead and see how we can improve to better our achievements of 2013 and look to start the New Year with fresh, optimistic enthusiasm.

We have a raft of events to start to look forward to as well (Winter Olympics and 6 Nations kicking off in February and one of the most talked about events being discussed on the radio as I type, World Cup Football in Brazil, with the groups about to be picked – Let’s hope England hang on in there.)

Giants Dawn panor

Here at James Pettit it is no different. 2013 has seen a restructure from wineries around the world re-aligning themselves with new agencies which has seen some ranges fall by the wayside and exciting new ones step up to take their place. So a big thank you to you all for baring with us, but, and it is a BIG but, our wines sales have been growing at a fantastic rate in 2013 having been very well received in trade. Our new wine partners are really pleased to be coming on board making available wines we will all love.

The great news is we are well placed for 2014 with some awesome new agencies coming on board from the likes of Louis Latour and Babich. I have not forgotten the need for quality entry wines at great prices and the need for stunning wines further up your list. Look out for McHenry Hohnen wines from Margaret River (the man behind Cloudy Bay and Cape Mentelle).

As a final note, we at James Pettit are here to help with designing and structuring a list to be proud of. Most customers do not regard it as a blessing to have a big, fat tome of a list dropped on them when sitting down at a table. Most want a good wine, not a research project. Most want to talk to their friends rather than wade through pages of deadening detail. The balance point between diversity and ease-of-use will be a little different for each restaurant, bar and hotel based on the style of food, clientele and level of training of the staff, but diversity must have reasonable limits.


Although I taste thousands of wines each year, and never tire of finding new wines from new producers or places, I am not impressed by massive wine lists, nor do I enjoy using them when dining out. What I really admire is a list that I can read in three minutes that offers a lot of variety and a mix of things familiar and exotic. This sort of list shows thoughtfulness, restraint, respect for customers, and simple good taste.

Here is to a great 2014 and working together to the success of us all …….