British wine magazine Decanter awards the best wine retail establishments annually. This year webshops have a special importance, since for months they have been the only source of wine. “The Decanter Retailer Awards judging process is based on what Decanter readers think is most important to them when purchasing wines: Quality, Value, Range and Service. The impact of the pandemic on retailers was taken into consideration, and on this judge Laura Clay commented, ‘I was very impressed with how quickly people changed their business model because of the situation. It was absolutely incredible.’” More than hundred entries were assessed in three stages of judging by renowned experts.
True novelties all year long
One of the founders of Novel Wines, György Zsiga is from Hungary, no wonder the shop has a fine and unique selection of Hungarian wines. Most of the wineries in their sortiment are real gems to discover, for instance the small Sanzon or TR from Tokaj or Sabar, a small size winery from Badacsony wine region. Sabar produces stunning wines of the Kéknyelű grape, which is an indigenous variety grown exclusively in Badacsony – and now Sabar Kéknyelű 2018 is on sale at Novel Wine webshop for only 12.99 GBP). “Fermented in stainless steel and then partly matured in oak barrel, the resulting wine has a vivid, floral nose and a zesty, crisp palate. Notes of citrus and white flowers with an elegant, long finish.”
Wines and delicacies to match
The runner-up at Decanter Retail Award is another Hungarian related company called Best of Hungary. The owner, dr. Mónika Gyenes left her dentist career for the wines, and her choice has been justified several times, for example when she and her son – now business partner – won the Wine Buyer Awards. Now another prestigious award is here to reward the passionate work. The shop sells delicacies like high quality honey, truffle, goose liver or caviar. The wine selection includes smaller and larger wineries, but they all meet one requirement: the wines should be outstanding and have good price-value ratio. Béres Vineyard and Winery has been producing great wines for decades, and their bottle fermented sparkling wine made of Hárslevelű grape is a real rarity – and now on sale for only 19.95 GBP!